PASIR PUTEH (KELANTAN, MALAYSIA), Feb 2 (NNN-BERNAMA) -- Malaysia aims to raise the milk production under the feedlot concept to 1.1 billion litres yearly to reduce its import dependency.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the country curently produced 51 million litres of milk yearly or 4.6 per cent of the national consumption.
Efforts to increase the production and reduce the dependency on import is hampered by lack of interest from cattle breeders, he told reporters after visiting the Sungai Durian Feedlot Husbandry project here Monday.
He said this was further compounded by the tropical weather which was deemed not conducive for high yield milk production.
Mustapa said the ministry had sought the help of Dutch Lady, a world leader in dairy business, to help nurture feedlot breeders.
"The company has agreed to share its technology and expertise in developing local feedlot entrepreneurs," he said, adding that he hoped the younger generation would go into the lucrative sector.
The price of milk has gone up from RM1.50 per litre to RM2 per litre while processed milk fetches RM5 per litre, he added.
Meanwhile, the Kelantan Veterinary Services Department has produced crossbred cows, Mafriwal (Malaysian Friesian Sahiwal) which are able to withstand warm weather and produce more milk than indigenous cows.
Its director, Dr Zairi Serlan said the crossbred cows were produced through the artificial insemination of Friesian, cold-weather cows and Sahiwal, warm-weather cows.
"The crossbreeding project started in 1980s. Mafriwal are black and white polka dot, black or red in colour," he told reporters after accompanying Mustapa, who visited the Sungai Durian Feedlot Husbandry here.
"Friesian are high-yield cows but they could not withstand our warm weather. They are crossbred with the low yield Sahiwal and the results overwhelmed us," he said.
Dr Zairi said the crossbred cows recorded a speedy growth as they started producing milk when they were six months and developed high resistance against diseases.
On the Sungai Durian Feedlot Husbandry, he said the 60-ha project produced 354,000 litres of milk worth RM531,000 yearly from 75 of 144 cows.
"We have five participants at present and we need more people to join the husbandry to meet high demand for milk," he said. -- NNN-BERNAMA