New Straits Times, Business Times Pg. 37 – 19 February 2008
NATIONAL Feedlot Corp Sdn Bhd (NFC), which is responsible for the import of cattle, is expected to bring in up to 40,000 heads of feeder cattle a year for its own use and for 310 feedlot farmers.
NFC should get its first batch of 1,000 heads of cattle this month, Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) director of development of livestock community Dr Ibrahim Che Embong said.
One of the feeder cattle suppliers is a leading company in Australia, Dr Ibrahim said, adding that feeder cattle can also come from New Zealand and African countries like Sudan and Somalia.
A feedlot is a type of concentrated animal feeding operation. The cattle will be placed in feedlots to be fed specialised diet and minerals to encourage deposition of fat in the animal muscles leading to juiciness in the meat.
Dr Ibrahim said feedlots is part of efforts to increase the country’s domestic beef production to 40 per cent of the total requirement by 2015.
“We need to slaughter 1.2 million heads of cattle to meet our beef needs a year. Right now, we produce about 20 per cent of our beef needs locally,” he said.
Dr Ibrahim spoke to reporters after the launch of the National Beef Industry Development Seminar by Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Putrajaya yesterday.
The country produced 31,260 tonnes of beef worth RM569.36 million in 2006, which was about 20 per cent of the total requirement.
Meanwhile, NFC chief executive officer Wan Shahinur Izran Mohamad Salleh said the beef industry should expand significantly in the next three years with the support of the Government and DVS.
“The time will come when Malaysian consumers will get to enjoy high quality beef produced by our own farmers,” Izran said at the seminar.
“We are confident that the Malaysian beef brand, one day, will be famous internationally,” he added.
Izran said NFC was finalising a concerted plan to ensure integrated, sustainable production and supply of beef domestically.
NFC is to manage a 2,025ha “beef valley” project known as the National Feedlot Centre in Gemas, Negri Sembilan.
The feedlot, expected to start this month, is the first phase of operation. Phase two of the programme will include contract and satellite farming.