KENINGAU: A good production system and some investment is all that Malaysia needs to be self-sufficient in milk within five years, says Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
“The target is within our reach but it requires a little investment by the government, the commitment of producers and suitable location,” he told reporters after visiting the Evergreen Livestock dairy farm in Kampung Bomboi near here today.
Malaysia is dependent on New Zealand and Australia for its suppply of fresh milk, and imports about 20 million litres of milk annually.
Ahmad Shabery said Malaysia could produce 30 million litres of milk per year if the number of dairy cows could be increased by 10,000 heads.
“This calls for the government to make an investment amounting to RM200 million, including infrastructure. “What has been achieved here in Keningau is remarkable. It’s not about the money but about the experience and the commitment.”
Other than the need for more producers, he said the logistics system should be developed so that milk produced in Sabah could reach the peninsula in one day.
Shabery said the dairy farming model in Sabah, especially in Keningau, had been proven a success.
“The Sabah Government should also focus on the production of meat because dairy cows can also provide meat,” he added.
Local meat producers can only meet 30 per cent of the country’s demand for meat while the rest is imported.