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Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Sarawak aiming for beef self-sufficiency


BY JACK WONG

KUCHING: Sarawak's import bill on beef was slashed by more than half to RM24mil in 2005.

State Assistant Minister for Food Production Datuk David Teng Lung Chi said the value of imports had dropped from RM50mil in 1998.

To increase the cattle population for beef production, the state Agriculture Department had distributed nearly 3,900 heads of cattle to 24 oil palm plantations for breeding purposes, he said.

"The State Economic Development Corporation is invoilved in the import of suitable cattle breeds for sale to the department," he told Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah during question time at the Sarawak State Assembly on Wednesday.

Teng said to meet the state's beef sufficiency level of 15% at 3.26kg per capita consumption, some 1,262 metric tonnes of beef (equivalent to 7,000 heads of cattle) were required.