National Dairy And Ruminant Board To Boost Milk, Meat Industry

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 Nov (Bernama) -- The role of the National Dairy and Ruminant Board is to develop the dairy and meat industry and improve the economic and social status of local ruminant breeders.

Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the board will focus on the industry's overall development, covering aspects such as planning, coordination, advisory services and marketing needs.

"The national production of dairy and meat is low and very dependent on imports, with the level of self-sufficiency in 2016 at 23.04 percent (beef), 13 percent (mutton) and 3.60 percent (evaporated milk and milk products).

"As such, we need a specific board which can expand the industry not just by developing the national dairy industry but also cultivate the ability and culture of the local community," he said.

Shabery was replying to a question from Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin (BN-Rompin) on the primary role of the National Dairy and Ruminant Board in developing the national dairy industry in Ask-the-Minister session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Ahmad Shabery said the board which was still in the planning stage will also look into the overall business aspects of the industry by developing its added value.

"The board will ensure the sustainability of the national dairy and ruminant industry through support industries like corn cultivation as animal feed and the production of natural fertilisers from the waste of farm animals," he said.

He added that the growth of the industry will have a multiplier effect on producers and consumers and help educate the public on the consumption of fresh milk.

"With the growth of the ruminant industry, we can boost the milk grant programmes in school, thus increasing demand for fresh milk and making it the basis of the national market demand."

On the culture and education on the intake of fresh milk, Ahmad Shabery said it should be made compulsory as generally, the milk intake of Malaysians was still low.

"On the average, our people drink about 20 litres a year, which is not enough. In Europe, the drink 120 litres a year, and Japan has also changed its lifestyle, with the intake of fresh milk up to 50 litres a year."