A GROWING population is a global trend that raises many challenges. This includes feeding everyone, a topic which became the focus of this year’s Livestock Asia Expo and Forum 2015.
The three-day event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre saw various trade professionals, experts and leaders sharing discoveries, innovations, information and industry insights on various related subjects.
Apart from the main exhibition space where 300 exhibitors from 32 countries showcased their latest technologies and supplies for feed and livestock production, the event also featured the Asia Meatec Conference as well as the 2nd World Veterinary Poultry Association and World Poultry Science Association Scientific Conference.
Kicking off the scientific conference was keynote speaker Prof Dr John Brake from America’s North Carolina State University who spoke at length on innovation in managing the health of broiler chicken (chicken raised specifically for meat), breeders and progeny.
“Some 85% of the improvement we see in this industry is down to genetics while the rest is based on nutrition.
“However, our studies have shown that by paying attention to feed, things can improve greatly, thanks to a healthier gastrointestinal tract (GIT),” he said.
Dr Brake elaborated on various findings which resulted from the use of coarser corn as broiler feed which has the advantages of lowering grinding costs and helping the broiler achieve better gizzard function, longer retention time and better GIT function.
The opening ceremony was attended by Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek who presented the awards to the winners of the 8th Malaysian Livestock Industry Awards.
In his speech, Ahmad Shabery said technology was a main factor in several changes seen in the industry.
“In the livestock industry, animals wear trackable collars to provide us with health statistics, which allow faster decision making. This is changing the way people operate in the industry,” he said.
Visiting the exhibition floor, the minister took a peek at the World Egg Day corner which celebrates the international event.
The Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia (FLFAM) Layer Unit deputy chairman Brian Lim Jit Shen said the event had been around for some 20 years and was established by the International Egg Commission.
“The event is meant to create awareness about the goodness of eggs which, among other things, can help with brain development.
“As far as innovation in this industry goes, it is mainly to create what we call designer eggs, which are eggs with increased nutritional values,” he said.
Lim said the industry produced about 30 million eggs a day on average although the number of farms around, which is around 300 today, is down from thousands in days gone by.
Only 15% of the eggs are exported, mainly to Singapore but sometimes even as far as Africa.
“One of the main problems is that costs are going up and land is becoming scarce as urbanisation takes place.
“Some farmers find the business no longer viable and thus we have lesser of them than we used to. The federation has already appealed to the Government to look into incentives to boost the industry,” he said, adding that Malacca had the highest number of egg farms compared to any other state in Malaysia.
World Egg Day is celebrated on the second Friday of October every year.
The Livestock Asia Expo and Forum 2015 is organised by UBM Asia and supported by FLFAM, World Poulty Science Association, World Veterinary Poultry Association and Veterinary Association of Malaysia.