This is to remain self-sufficient, while reducing dependency on imported agricultural products
By FARA AISYAH / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
Malaysia needs to produce its own animal feed for the livestock industry to remain self-sufficient, while reducing dependency on imported agricultural products.
“Even when we are producing our own poultry, we are importing almost 100% of the feed,” Agriculture and Agrobased Industry (MoA) Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said at the Livestock Asia 2018 opening ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“Apart from raising producing capacity of corn, for example, we need to have other options such as using palm kernel cake as we produce our own palm trees,” he added.
He said it will also reduce around 30% to 40% of the country’s dependency on imported animal feed.
According to Ahmad Shabery, poultry is one of the fastest growing segments of the Malaysia’s agricultural sector — contributing to 75% of the RM10 billion livestock industry in the country.
He further said currently, Malaysia’s self-sufficiency of poultry products is at 125%.
“The poultry segment is the fastest growing, followed by fishery products which is almost reaching 100% of self-sufficiency; meat products is still low at around 20%, while dairy products is around 50%. There is still room of improvement in our industry,” Ahmad Shabery added.
“We export only poultry products and eggs — around 20% from the 125% — and only to neighbouring countries, for example, Singapore. We should produce and export more as trade can strengthen our currency.”
Ahmad Shabery said producing the country’s own livestock products will provide sufficient food at an affordable price, apart from creating more job opportunities for the people.
Although Malaysia is self-sufficient in poultry and eggs since the early ‘80s, the industry is facing challenges such as the soaring global price of imported feed ingredients.
Other challenges include consumer concerns over the safety of poultry products, the threat of emerging diseases, as well as environmental and animal welfare issues associated with poultry production.
Ahmad Shabery said the poultry industry must re-orientate itself to meet the challenges of a market-driven world.
He also said these challenges need to be addressed to ensure that the poultry industry is sustainable and continues to contribute significantly to the national food security.
Livestock Asia 2018 is an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia, MoA, with the support of the Department of Fisheries Malaysia and industry associations Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia, among others.
The exhibition’s ninth edition targets RM200 million in transaction value, which is growing about 20% from the previous event, as well as to draw 7,000 of domestic and foreign trade visitors and delegates.