BERA, Nov 16 – The government aims to produce about 50 percent of the country’s food supply needs including meat, by 2020, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Last year, the country’s beef and buffalo meat production was 54,000 metric tonnes which could only meet 30 percent of the required demand, while sheep meat production was only 36,000 tonnes.
“We only have about 751,781 cattle, 118,045 buffaloes, 482,80 goats and 129,085 sheep. “Although we have 47,000 cattle and buffalo rearers and 25,000 goat and sheep farmers, most of them are small scale farmers rearing less than 20 livestocks and their monthly gross income is about RM500,” he told reporters after handing over farming tools aid to livestock farmers in Bera constituency at Bera Veterinary Office here, Sunday.
He said to ensure adequate supply of meat, the ministry had devised various strategies that included providing cattle to farmers for them to rear in an effort to increase the supply of beef within the next six years. Ismail Sabri, who is also Bera Member of Parliament, said the government currently had to import meat from several countries including Thailand, Cambodia and Australia.
In the latest development, an agreement to purchase cattle from Myanmar will be signed to meet future needs. “A memorandum of agreement for the purchase of cattle with Myanmar will be held on Nov 22 during the International Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro Tourism Malaysia (MAHA) 2014 Exhibition. “The agreement will also include the provision of our technical expertise in livestock breeding to the country involved,” he said.