KOTA KINABALU, May 25 — The Sabah government has allocated RM99.05 million to the livestock sub-sector for management expenses and the implementation of 43 development projects that aim to increase the assurance of quality livestock-based food as well as improve the level of food security.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said various programmes were also implemented to help entrepreneurs in the livestock industry to increase production efficiency and income this year.

He said the Sabah Government will continue to ensure its supporting role in providing infrastructure facilities such as roads, water supply and electricity to support agro-integration of food value supply chain.

“The government will also ensure that all government-linked companies (GLCs) involved in the agro-food production sector will complement each other to achieve optimal synergy,” he said during the DESA 2024 Appreciation Night ceremony at the Sabah International Convention Center (SICC) here yesterday.


Hajiji said that DESA group companies have achieved stable business growth with a strong financial position since 2012 until now, through the implementation of various business recovery and financial restructuring strategies which were largely funded by internally generated cash reserves.

“I believe this is the result of very effective and efficient fund management and strategic planning by the DESA board of directors and management.

“DESA continues to move forward in business modernisation and development and is able to give positive returns to shareholders’ investment.


“Until now, DESA has given a dividend of RM30.5 million to the Sabah Government”, he said.

According to him, DESA group companies play an important role in transforming Sabah’s agricultural sector, especially the livestock sub-sector into a modern, dynamic and competitive sector, in line with the aspirations of Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ).

He believes that DESA’s success in taking over the Keningau Integrated Livestock Center Project or Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre (KILC) from the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Board (SEDIA) in July 2021, can help lead the ruminant industry in the state.

He said as DESA is one of the main producers of chicken and fresh milk in Sabah, it needs to continue to increase productivity and produce quality products as well as expand production capacity and modern farming technology to support intensive and sustainable poultry and livestock farming in the state.

“I believe it can be done because DESA has implemented projects to modernise infrastructure and production facilities at several DESA premises in the poultry business at a cost of RM18 million over the past five years.

“Among them are the improvement of chicken slaughterhouse facilities in Lok Kawi, the reconstruction and addition of modern chicken coops in Kabang, Papar, the construction of new housing for farm workers in Bongawan, in addition to the modernisation of chicken coops”, he said.

Hajiji said that DESA has also increased the production capacity of dairy products and agro-tourism in Mesilau by implementing an additional construction project for a dairy cow shed at a cost of RM8 million which is equipped with modern equipment to ensure ‘animal welfare’ and ‘cow comfort’ are maintained, with loads up to 200 cows.

According to him, the planning of the development of the “New Farm Shop” and the addition of visitor activity areas and parking spaces is to ensure the convenience of visitors to DESA Dairy Farm with an expenditure of RM7.8 million to accommodate more visitors to the area.

He also wants DESA to continue to implement effective business strategies to increase sales, increase the value of the DESA brand in terms of marketing, retail and product diversity, including opening more DESA Fresh Mart (DFM) stores in the state to enable DESA products to be marketed to customers and consumers more widely.

He said since 2020, five DFMs have been opened by DESA in Kota Belud, Ranau, Papar, Tuaran and Sulaman, while another in Kudat will be opened at the end of this month and in Beaufort and Tenom this year, making it a total of 20 DFMs, including one dairy kiosk (DESA MOO) at Imago Shopping Mall.

Hajiji hopes that the board of directors and management of the DESA Group will continue to help in developing the agricultural industry, especially the development of agro-food in Sabah, in addition to continuing to implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to improve the welfare of its employees.

Meanwhile, DESA group chairman Tan Sri Liew Yun Fah said the appreciation ceremony is not just a mere dining event, but it is a special occasion to celebrate each person from the DESA group who have contributed a lot towards the positive growth of the DESA Group as a competitive Sabah Government GLC.

Liew said they promise to work hard to continue to maintain and advance DESA as well as uplifting the company as a whole to further contribute to the economic growth of the state, adding that they are also committed to growing the food security sector to an international level.

“Therefore, I call on all members of the DESA group to play a role in ensuring that this noble dream becomes a reality.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to say a thousand thanks to every officer, staff and member of the DESA Group for having contributed with sincerity and devotion to the company,” he said.

DESA group chief executive officer Emiliana Chin said as a GLC, their mission extends beyond maintaining a healthy bottom line as they also carry the responsibility to support and contribute to the State Food Security initiative and ensuring chicken and milk are always accessible to the people of Sabah at a fair and affordable price.

Emiliana said DESA remained committed to its vision to be the first-choice brand in food products and services through its workforce which comprises 859 dedicated individuals.

“The consistent and continuous care for our livestock and poultry is crucial, and many in our team are hard at work ensuring that our operations run smoothly and efficiently at all times.

“Together, we in DESA, our shareholders, our board and business partners, will rise to meet the challenge of tomorrow, seize the opportunities ahead, and leave a lasting legacy of prosperity for future generations,” she said.

Also present was Sabah Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun. — The Borneo Post