KUCHING, Aug 19 — Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today said he has allocated RM35 million funds to Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) to produce animal feeds from its oil palm waste as a pilot project.
He said if the pilot project is successful, the state government will set up more manufacturing plants to produce other products out of oil palm waste.
He said the move to manufacture the animal feed is aimed to reduce the costs of meat, chicken and eggs, by producing the animal feed locally.
“You know the prices of chicken and eggs, for example, have gone up, one of the reasons was due to the high cost of imported animal feed,” he said at the opening of the Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF) and Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) twin towers here.
“Once our ringgit is weak, our import bill will be very high. Consequently, the prices of chicken and meat will be high,” the premier said.
He said the biomass from oil palm can be converted into animal feed, adding that SALCRA has thousands of hectares of oil palm plantations.
He said it is a waste if the oil palm waste is not processed to produce animal feed.
“This is what we call the circular economy, meaning that we cannot waste our waste products. We can add value to our waste products,” he said.
He said Sarawak is one of the major producers of oil palm and yet it does not add value to its waste.
“After the life cycle of oil palm trees has expired, we can chop off all trees and those trees will give money to us,” he said.
The premier also advised the Dayaks to monetise their land assets for their economic benefit.
He said the Dayaks, compared to other communities in Sarawak, own vast areas of land but are not fully developed.
He said it is for this reason that he calls on the community to monetise their land assets.
Abang Johari said in terms of land assets the Dayaks are rich.
Among those present at the opening ceremony were Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, DCF managing partner Tan Sri Leonard Linggi Jugah, former federal minister Tan Sri Leo Moggie and state ministers.