14/05/2024 03:31 PM

SERDANG, May 14 (Bernama) -- The country is confident of achieving 50 per cent self-sufficiency level (SSL) target for the beef sector by 2030, said Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

Mohamad said it could be achieved through the expansion of various innovations explored by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) as well as the openness of the industry to apply new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) in the livestock sector.

"We are working on 2025 beef cattle. When the director-general (Director-General of Veterinary Services Dr Akma Ngah Hamid) says yes, then I will check.

"He (Akma) will work towards achieving (the target), so today the director-general said it is possible and I also agree that it can be (achieved)," he told reporters after officiating the Veterinary Development Convention and Innovation Day 2024 here today.

On March 8, Mohamad was reported to have said the government aims to expand cattle farming on a feedlot basis, through the redevelopment of mega cattle farms to meet local meat supply needs and put the country on the right track towards achieving the 50 per cent SSL target for the beef sector by 2030.

Earlier in his speech, Mohamad hoped that the direction and focus achieved throughout the year was guided by the National Innovation Programme for People's Agrofood Security (PINTAR) which emphasised five cores including exploring the use of new technologies in the agricultural sector such as AI.

"I hope that this PINTAR concept can be expanded and embedded in the minds and souls of each of our development agents. PINTAR is our method to find solutions to agricultural problems that have been going on for decades," he said.

Meanwhile, Akma said the SSL level of fresh milk is currently at 62 per cent and is heading towards the target of 100 per cent SSL by 2030.

"Our target in 2030 is to achieve 100 per cent SSL, so we are running many programmes under 12MP (12th Malaysia Plan). The dairy industry has a lot of potential and we are on track, provided there is no epidemic," he said.

Akma said so far the country has five dairy valleys under the National Dairy Industry Development Programme which are expected to be able to meet the demand for local fresh milk by 2025.

"The government is not alone in achieving this target because there are large companies participating in the milk industry including Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) which opened a livestock farm in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan," he said.

On June 15 last year, the media reported that F&N had invested RM1 billion to develop a 2,726-hectare dairy farm to hold approximately 20,000 dairy cows in Gemas.


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