September 21, 2015
Livestock Asia 2015: Minister highlights ICT as key to support sector's progress
Livestock Asia 2015 commences today in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia, and will host over 300 exhibitors from 32 countries showcasing the latest technologies and supplies for feed and livestock production.
The day started with an opening address given by Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Ahmad Mustaffa Babjee, the chairman of UBM Malaysia, followed by a keynote speech delivered by YB. Dato' Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, the Malaysian minister of agriculture and agro-based industry.
"The pressing industry topic that will be addressed at Livestock Asia 2015 will be that of the global readiness of the livestock industry in ASEAN as the race towards the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is on," said Dr. Babjee. "The enhancement of competitiveness of food, agricultural and livestock products in international markets, and the empowerment of farmers through the promotion of agricultural cooperatives has become a regional priority as the livestock industry prepares to compete on a global level."
Dato' Shabery, who was recently appointed to his current office a few months ago, commented:" Our industry has to tackle the great challenge of feeding the people in the face of (growing) population, shrinking resources and changing climate." He also highlighted the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in supporting the implementation of biophysical and yield-enhancing technologies to deal with productivity issues.
"One of our goals is to empower farmers, especially small farmers, with ICT assets and services that will increase productivity and incomes as well as protect their livelihood and the country's food security," Dato' Shabery added.
With the conclusion of his speech, ceremonies for the Asian Livestock Industry Awards and Malaysian Livestock Industry Awards followed, with the Holstein Milk Company's Muadzam Shah Cattle Research & Innovation Centre winning "Outstanding Dairy Farm" as well as FFM Group for "Outstanding Feed Miller", amongst other recipients.
During a press conference after a tour of the Livestock Asia exhibition ground, Dato' Shabery expressed optimism for the Malaysian feed-to-meat industry, given its good track record and equipment support. However, the sector's progress could benefit further from a strengthening ringgit, he said.