Swak govt plans to set up own Livestock Board to address rising price of pork

Dr Rundi (left) listening to Chong's question regarding the ministry's plan to address rising pork prices.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, May 25: The Sarawak government is planning to develop its own Livestock Board to oversee and manage livestock matters, including to address the rising prices of pork.

Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said the board will look into ways to maintain pork prices at an affordable level for pork consumers in Sarawak.

Another plan to counter the pork issue, he said, is to introduce output incentives for pork producers.

“One of the ways is to give output incentives, meaning the better you perform, the more you produce, there will be some (rewards).

“We are looking into giving that sort of incentives (to pork meat producers),” he said at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

Dr Rundi was answering a question posed by Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen on whether the Sarawak government plans to cross-subsidise pork to lower its price in the domestic market.

Chong raised the concern that pork prices have been on the rise recently, making pork too expensive to be consumed by the people.

In his ministerial winding-up speech earlier, Dr Rundi said the swine industry in Sarawak is already well-developed by private companies, and Sarawak is self-sufficient in pork with a 125 per cent SSL (self-sufficient level).

While there are 118 licensed pig farms in Sarawak, he said the Pig Farming Area (PFA) Simunjan has exported over 286,000 porkers worth RM303.3 million between 2018 and 2021.

“In view of this potential, the government has provided a sum of RM30 million to develop another three new PFAs in Selangau, Samarakan, and an extension of the PFA Simunjan,” he added.

Meanwhile, on other livestock, Dr Rundi said the SSL for beef is 12 per cent and 5.5 per cent for mutton in Sarawak.

To improve food security in the ruminant sector,  the ministry has targeted to achieve at least 25 per cent SSL for both beef and mutton by 2030.

“To achieve these SSLs, we need to have standing population of around 50,000 heads for beef cattle and buffalo, and 100,000 heads of sheep and goats,” he said. — DayakDaily