KUCHING, Nov 28: Sarawak has drawn up plans to ramp up its cattle population.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this included the Cattle ‘Pawah’ programme, where animals would be advanced to selected breeders.
“Then we will give them six years to pay us back, one to one. This programme also applies to goats and buffaloes,” he said in a press statement today.
Yesterday, he visited a cattle farm belonging to livestock entrepreneur Mahmud Mohd Nor in Kampung Sungai Rayu, Matang, near here.
“In addition, we also want to leverage on modern technology like artificial insemination to boost more births. This option has not been used locally at all,” he said.
Uggah, who is also Minister of the Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development (MANRED), added that beginning next year, his ministry planned to have people trained in the technique.
“They could then work with us in our programme. Our ultimate aim is to achieve our own SSL (self-sufficiency level),” he pointed out.
He believed this was the best way to build up the state cattle livestock and to promote its rearing among local farmers.
“When we have more cattle, we can then bring down the price of fresh beef, especially during periods of great demand like Hari Raya Korban.
“A kilogramme (kg) of local fresh beef can cost more than RM20, and a 300-kg cattle can easily cost up to RM6,000 during such time,” he shared.
On the ‘Pawah’ system, he emphasised that his ministry would reach out to more oil palm plantations and interested individuals.
“And we have many oil palm plantations in the state. Currently, the state land development agency Salcra is one of our major recipients, with more than 2,000 heads,” he said.
MANRED bought 640 heads for distribution under the ‘Pawah’ system last year and the same number this year.
Uggah informed that his ministry would work out how to distribute the cattle among the many oil palm plantations in the state.
“We also have a lot of pineapple farms in Kota Samarahan, where the wastes, rich in Vitamin C and other nutrients, can be a food source for the cattle,” he added.
On Mahmud’s farm, he said MANRED had provided him with 102 heads of cattle on his 24 ha farm in November last year.
“He has the potential to go far, but I have suggested to him to use artificial insemination on his animals next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, MANRED had also provided 100 heads of dairy goats to entrepreneur Branca Sidi Munan to add to his 120 heads now.
“We hope to give him some more as his farm grows and the animal feed is available. Branca and his wife have done similar rearing in New Zealand.
“Now he is back here, he can be one of the role models of successful livestock entrepreneurs. Those interested need to have the passion. They need to have the knowledge, too” he advised.
Uggah would be flying to Limbang tomorrow to check on buffalo rearing in the division.
State Veterinary Service Department director Dr Adrian Susin and political secretary to the Chief Minister, Dr Richard Rapu, were among those accompanying Uggah during his visit to Mahmud’s farm. — DayakDaily