KUCHING: Sarawak’s vibrant livestock industry can help realise the state's ambition to become a net food and livestock products exporter by 2030.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the state exported RM263 million in livestock products last year – and the amount is expected to increase.
“The future is indeed very bright for our livestock industry, and I believe we can surely increase the amount,” he said at the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak’s (DVSS) appreciation dinner here, on Saturday.
The first task of the DVSS, he said, is to raise the state’s self-sufficiency level (SSL) so that Sarawak can increase its export volume. Currently, Sarawak has achieved 112 per cent SSL for pork, 100 per cent for chicken eggs, poultry (94 per cent), milk (45 per cent), beef (12 per cent) and mutton (5 per cent).
“The department needs to focus on increasing the beef, milk and mutton (production),” he added.
Uggah, who is also the Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, said that Sarawak continues to be free from diseases which could threaten the industry, such as the Avian Flu, African Swine Fever and Mouth and Foot.
“This is our comparative advantage in the industry, besides the huge tract of land available and our hardworking people.
“On the same note, it is the government’s very wish that the DVSS will continue to protect the state’s biosecurity.
“This shield should continue to be a permanent feature along our long coastline and our borders, so that we can stay free of diseases,” he added.
In addition, the state government is committed to strengthening the department and enhancing its capability and capacity.
“We will ensure that modern technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) will be part and parcel of our arsenals,” he said.
Uggah also called on the department to be vigilant against buffalo smuggling into the state, which he said is a serious problem.
At the function, Uggah presented the Excellent Service Awards to 19 recipients and Appreciation Letters to eight retiring officers.
Also present were DVSS director Dr Adrian Susin and the director of the state Agriculture Department Dr Alvin Chai.