PENANG has recorded RM1.1bil in livestock output last year compared with RM939.77 in 2018.
The biggest contributors were producers of poultry and pork with production of RM918.94mil that accounted for 82.77% of the overall output.
State agriculture and agro- based industry committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said poultry alone contributed RM650.71mil, an increase of RM163.74mil compared to RM483.28mil in 2018.
“Another new output and growing industry is bird’s nest, which contributed RM24.56mil last year.
“The vast market demand for poultry meat, milk and eggs has made Penang a potential halal hub for processing and development of the food industry, ” said Dr Afif after visiting Hwa Huat Livestock Industrial Sdn Bhd in Bukit Langkap, Mengkuang near Bukit Mertajam on the Penang mainland.
Dr Afif said the state government and Veterinary Services Department would play an important role for the growth of the livestock industry in ensuring food security.
On the move which required livestock breeders to pay a minimum fee of RM4 per animal to the Penang Veterinary Services Department effective April 1, Dr Afif said it was nothing new as the fees were part of a state law which was gazetted in 2008.
The fees apply to breeders transporting animals out of one district in Penang to another and also for export to other states in Malaysia. Previously, livestock breeders only paid RM10 per consignment to the department.
“The charges are minimal and are accepted by all although there could be a slight increase in livestock production cost.
“Several engagement sessions and road shows were held with about 450 stakeholders for their feedback since October last year on the charges before it was enforced, ” he said.
It was earlier reported that the Penang government had said it would impose fees on a myriad of farmed livestock such as cows, goats, sheep and pigs. The fees will be charged for the issuance of health certificates and transport permits.
Dr Afif also handed over RM180,000 worth of agriculture equipment to 76 farmers at the state Agriculture Department in Cherok To’kun.
“The government sees the agriculture industry as an industry of the future with state-of-the-art technology using drones and 5G technology.
“Langkawi has already implemented planting of salad in container using 5G technology undertaken by Telekom Malaysia Berhad through Smart Cluster Agriculture concept.
“This concept rakes in good profit and can be planted anywhere, thus reduces transport cost and consumers can get fresh produce, ” he said.
It was reported that with the advancement of the 5G technology, salads that are commonly grown in cold climates and highland areas are able to thrive in hot weather and even more interestingly, it can be grown in containers.
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