KUALA LUMPUR - Local producers of livestock feed are encouraged to use raw material readily available in the country, such as palm kernel cake, rice bran and copra cake in order to lower prices.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said this would allow consumers to enjoy cheaper meat and eggs.
"The livestock industry in Malaysia is very much dependent on imported livestock feed, contributing to the national food bill which amounts to about RM17 billion," he said at the launching of the Livestock Asia 2009 exposition, here, on Tuesday.
Noh's speech text was read out by his deputy, Datuk Johari Baharum.
Noh said the livestock industry was one of the fastest growing in the country, with poultry production increasing from 0.69 million tonnes in 1999 to 1.16 million tonnes in 2008.
"This shows that traditional livestock farming can be developed into a modern industry," he said.
He added that the development of the mutton, beef cattle and dairy sectors was being focused on, with various programmes carried out for this purpose.
"With quality livestock breed, we can guarantee the production of quality calves and lambs," he said.
The three-day biennial exhibition organised by the Veterinary Services Department is a one-stop venue showcase for players in the food, livestock breeding and meat processing industries.
It has attracted over 6,000 delegates from various industry sectors and features 265 display booths of 42 countries.