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Sarawak Seeks To Increase Cattle Population

KUCHING: Sarawak has set its sights on increasing its cattle population, with the government drawing up plans towards this cause, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

The Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development said this included the Cattle ‘Pawah’ programme, where the 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 yesterday.

He was referring to his visit to a cattle farm belonging to livestock entrepreneur Mahmud Mohd Nor in Kampung Sungai Rayu, Matang near here on Tuesday.

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.

Beginning next year, Uggah said his ministry planned to have people trained in the technique.

Our ultimate aim is to achieve our own SSL (self sufficiency level). I believe this is the best way to build up on our cattle livestock and to promote its rearing among our farmers.

When we can have more cattle, we can then bring down the price of fresh beef, especially during times of great demand like the Hari Raya Qurban. A kilogram of local fresh beef can cost more than RM20 and a 300- kilogram cattle can easily cost up to RM6,000 during such times, he pointed out.

On the ‘Pawah’ system, Uggah said his ministry would reach out to more oil palm plantations and interested individuals.

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.

Uggah said his ministry had bought 640 heads for distribution under the ‘Pawah’ system last year and the same number this year.

We will buy the same number every year, he said adding, his ministry would work out how to distribute cattle among the many oil palm plantations in Sarawak.

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 to the cattle, he said.

On Mahmud, Uggah said the ministry had provided 102 heads of cattle for the 24ha farm in November last year.

Haji Mahmud has the potential to go far but I have suggested for him to apply artificial insemination on his animals next year, he said.

Uggah said the ministry had also provided 100 heads of dairy goats to entrepreneur Brangka Munan, adding to the latter’s 120 heads now.

We hope to give him some more as his farm grows and the animal feed is available. Brangka and his wife had done similar rearing in New Zealand, he said.

Now he is back here and 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.

Uggah added he would be flying to Limbang today (Nov 29) to check on buffalo rearing activity in the division.


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