BAHAU, April 8 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi urged more people to rear goats of fine breed in line with the government's aspiration to raise mutton production by 20 per cent by the end of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).
He said the expansion of the goat breeding industry could also generate other spin-off industries which were growing such as pharmaceutical, cosmetics and health product industries besides raising the income of those involved in goat breeding.
FEEDING TIME…Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi feeding a Boer goat on his visit to the Subur Boer Goat Farm in Serting near Bahau.
"Although the Ministry of Agriculture (and Agro-based Industry) had already taken the initiative to boost goat breeding four years ago, the number of goat breeding centres needs to be increased," he told reporters after visiting the Subur Boer Goat Farm in Serting, near here.
He also urged goat breeders who were using local stocks to change to this species because they produced high quality meat, grew at a faster rate and fetched a higher price.
"The work involved is about the same but if it yields higher returns, then it's much better. In addition, there will be other by-products that can be generated when there are more goats in the country.
"Everything needs proper organisation even if it starts with animal products," he said.
Earlier, Abdullah witnessed the signing of the agreement between the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) which was represented by its Deputy Director-General Dr Sharif Haron and the chief executive officer of Gema Padu Sdn Bhd (GP) Major (Rtd) Ng Bon Chong. GP owns the Boer Goat Farm through Subur Sejahtera Sdn Bhd (SSSB).
The agreement will lead to a higher production of Boer goats locally and it had been identified by Mardi in its objective to produce breeding stocks of top quality.
The farm, which is being run on a joint-venture basis with the Negeri Sembilan State Development Corporation, breeds 2,500 Boer goats.
The other objectives of SSSB include supplying Boer goat breeding stocks to local breeders, creating a National Boer Auction Centre at Serting, providing a training centre for breeders, and providing a business model for pig breeders who wish to change their products.
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