July 29, 2008 13:27 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 (Bernama) -- There are plans in the pipeline for an RM10 million goat technology and research centre in Serating, Marang, under the East Coast Economic Regions livestock farming initiatives.
The research centre, Taman Teknologi Kaprima Bestari, will be located over 10 hectares within a Permanent Food Production Park, the ECER secretariat said in a statement here Tuesday.
The move is aimed at Malaysia achieving self-sufficiency in mutton as the country needs 10 million goats a year.
Currently, Malaysia mainly imports mutton from Australia.
The technology goat park, which will be built and managed by the Department of Veterinary Service Terengganu (JPHT), will collate all relevant information and research on goat breeding, as well as modernize the countrys goat breeding industry, with the ECER as a prominent hub, it said.
"This technology park is projected to be a research and information centre for goat breeders, especially those from Asian countries," JPHTs Director Dr Azizol Mohd Sharun was quoted as saying in the statement.
"We will bring in the latest goat breeding technology and techniques from abroad. This new technology will help breeders to minimize the production cost and give better returns."
Meanwhile, breeders and parties interested in the industry can avail themselves to goat farming courses, he said.
"We envisage the goat park to offer better economic prospects and employment opportunities for local entrepreneurs and graduates in related fields of study."
The goat technology park will be equipped with a farmhouse, mini slaughterhouse, fertilizer processing factory, restaurant, product exhibition hall, a mosque, and staff dormitories.
Aside from goat breeding and research activities, the park also offers an attractive and children-friendly tourist attraction where feeding and patting animals may be highlights.
Terengganu is targeting over 3.5 million visitors this year. Many of its tourism attractions are aimed at nature lovers and the goat park is expected to draw in its fair share of tourists.
The nations per capita consumption of mutton has risen from 0.67kg in 2006 to 0.74kg in 2007.
Malaysia has traditionally been Australias biggest live export market, importing about 15,000 tonnes of mutton and 50,000 goats.
Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), the ECER is targeted to increase the goat breeding activities by seven percent within five years to tap into increasing local and international demand.
It will focus on high meat yielding goats to replace the smaller local animals.
To achieve its goal of 35 percent self-sufficiency in goat production by year 2015, it will need another 18,000 breeding goats.
The target is for ECER to hit 2,020 metric tonnes in year 2020, it said.
Malaysias goat farming is made up of 75 percent traditional breeders, while 15 per cent is semi-commercial with 10 percent in commercial farming.
Within the ECER, projects to boost goat breeding includes setting up a nucleus goat breeding research centre in Tersat, the establishment of the Collection, Processing and Packaging Centre (CPPC) and Collection and Marketing Centre (CMC) for traditional farmers to assemble and market goats.