April 24, 2018
Malaysia should produce own animal feed, says country's minister
Malaysia has to continue to be self-sufficient by producing its own animal feed for the livestock sector, said Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, minister of the country's Agriculture and Agrobased Industry (MoA), during the recent Livestock Asia 2018 event in Kuala Lumpur.
"Even when we are producing our own poultry, we are importing almost 100% of the feed. Apart from raising the 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.
Such actions will help cut down around 30-40% of Malaysia's dependency on imported animal feed, Ahmad Shabery remarked.
According to the minister, poultry is one of the fastest growing segments of the domestic agricultural sector, contributing to 75% of the RM10 billion (US$2.6 billion) livestock industry in the country.
He also commented that 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 are around 50%. There is still room for improvement in our industry," Ahmad Shabery said.
"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 opined that producing the country's own livestock products will provide sufficient food at an affordable price, apart from creating more job opportunities for people.
Although Malaysia is self-sufficient in poultry and eggs since the early 1980s, 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.
The poultry industry must re-orientate itself to meet the challenges of a market-driven world, Ahmad Shabery remarked.
He stated that these challenges need to be addressed to ensure that the poultry industry is sustainable and continues to contribute significantly to the national food security.
- The Malaysian Reserve