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Yap The Industrious Yet Humble Millionaire Farmer
KENINGAU (Sabah) (Bernama) -- "In business the bottom line is to make profit. It is also about prudent cost management and production, proper planning, good facilities and working smart".
These are the words of Datuk Yap Yun Fook, 51, a millionaire hands-on farmer who practically started with a small dairy farm at Ansip Baru, here some 31 years ago during an interview with Bernama recently.
In this particular case, the Keningau born Yap was talking about his involvement in livestock breeding and how he rose to become the country's top dairy cattle breeder.
Back in 1982, he started with two cows supplied by the State Veterinary and Husbandry Department with the price of RM1,250 per head and paid back the department with 25 percent of the dairy milk produced.
BIGGEST DAIRY VENTURE
Ten years later, his dairy farm was already producing 400 litres of milk a day.
However, Yap's promising dairy cattle business almost collapsed suddenly when about 100 heads of cattle died mysteriously.
"I started all over again with what was left. I believed in myself and I believed that God knows the truth," he told Bernama.
Yap who is also the president of Sabah Diary Farmers Association now oversees a 110-hectare high-tech livestock farm located at Kg Bomboi, Keningau.
His farm - Evergreen Livestock Farm (ELF) - located on a sprawling scenic hilltop currently has more than 5,000 heads of dairy cattle with a milking parlour that could accommodate 64 cattle per cycle.
The dairy farm produces about 8.5 million litres of milk or about 29 percent of Sabah's total annual milk production.
SHARING HIS KNOWLEDGE
Yap's success story in livestock and dairy farming has earned him recognition.
In 2009, ELF earned the exemplary diary farm award from the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry.
Yap is ever ready to share his knowhow and has been providing practical training in livestock farming for undergraduates.
He also received many invitations from various government and private organisations to give talk on his hands-on experience in livestock and dairy farming.
"Sometimes people just phone up to ask some tips or advice on how to start a business in livestock and dairy farming," he said.
At the moment, four Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) agribusiness undergraduates are undergoing a six-month internship at ELF.
"One of my colleagues recommended that I should do my practical training here (ELF)," said Amirulmukminin Othman who hails from Selangor.
Another student, Wan Munirah W. Khalid Pah Mee from Terengganu, said Yap's humble personality made her feel at home at ELF despite of the strict and tight training schedules.
"Now, we are used to getting up at 3 o'clock in morning to milk the cows," she said.
A GOOD EXAMPLE
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, when launching the Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre (KILC) in June 2012, specially cited Yap as an example of a highly successful dairy cattle breeder and urged others to emulate him.
A visit to ELF recently showed that the company is also actively diversifying into other economic activities such as pineapple and swiflet farming.
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