By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 30: Sarawak has successfully increased its self-sufficiency level for fresh milk from merely one per cent in 2016 to 25 per cent currently.
According to Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, this is largely due to the establishment of a private modern dairy farm in 2016 at Kampung Panchor, Serian with a dairy cattle population of 250 heads of milking cows.
On beef and mutton, he said the current self-sufficiency level for beef and mutton is 12 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.
The population of cattle and buffalo in Sarawak is estimated to stand at about 17,000 and 7,300 heads respectively, while the population for goat and sheep is 14,000 heads.
“Among the various initiatives that have been implemented by my Ministry through the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) include distributing cattle to oil palm plantations and smallholders under Pawah Scheme as well as under the Sale of Livestock (SOL) programme.
“In 2022, about 507 heads of cattle and 241 heads of buffalo have been imported from Australia to support the implementation of this programme,” said Dr Rundi when delivering his winding up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) here today.
He said cattle integration under oil palm which was implemented since May 2000, will be continued to optimise the utilisation of the oil palm estates available in Sarawak.
There are around 1.6 million hectares of oil palm estates in Sarawak. At present, only about 100,000 hectares out of more than 600,000 hectares that are suitable for cattle integration have been utilised.
The suitable oil palm land can accommodate 150,000 heads of cattle.
“Under the Post-Covid Development Strategy 2030 aspiration, my Ministry has set a target of 25 per cent self-sufficiency level (SSL) for beef and mutton to be achieved by 2030.
“To achieve this target, a standing population of around 60,000 heads of beef cattle and 20,000 heads of buffalo and 215,000 heads of sheep and goats is required,” said Dr Rundi. — DayakDaily