ROMPIN, Aug 15 — The government is aiming for self-sufficiency in local fresh milk production within the next five years, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub.
According to him, the country’s Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) for fresh milk stood at 61.44 per cent as of last year, with efforts undertaken to increase production through the implementation of the National Dairy Industry Development Programme since 2017.
“The demand for fresh milk in 2018 was 67.1 million litres and out of that, almost 40.36 million litres of fresh milk were produced locally while the rest imported from New Zealand and Australia.
“The National Dairy Industry Development Programme aims to increase the production of fresh milk by adding another 20 million litres through the importation of 10,000 pregnant dairy cows within five years,” he said here, today.
Salahuddin was met by reporters after officiating a dairy processing plant owned by The Holstein Milk Company Sdn Bhd in Muadzam Shah.
Also attending the ceremony were Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam as well as The Holstein Milk Company’s managing director Loi Tuan Ee and director of operations Azmi Zainal.
The National Dairy Industry Development Programme said the minister, involved several dairy valleys in the country including the Muadzam Dairy Valley here, as well as the Muallim Dairy Valley in Perak and the Bernam Dairy Valley in Selangor.
“During the National Economic Action Executive Council meeting last week, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad requested that several ministries propose suitable foods or beverage products to be provided to the school children.
“Our ministry tends to recommend fresh milk because of its health benefits, aside from Japanese history which shows that younger generations have better growth if given fresh milk,” he said.
The fresh milk must be locally-produced to support the country’s dairy industry, besides scrutinising the selection of the company to ensure the quality of the milk, he said.
Commenting on The Holstein Milk Company, he described the local dairy company as among the industry’s success story based on its capability in producing six million litres of milk a year, as well as in assisting agriculture entrepreneurs and farmers through satellite farms.
“I am told that the company has successfully established 32 stockists and 620 home dealers for the marketing of the milk, which provides a lucrative income. Stockists can earn up to RM25,000 a month while home dealers’ can generate a monthly income of between RM700 to RM5,000,” he said. — Bernama