Halal Industry

Malaysia beef cattle, buffalo population down between 2013 and 2015

Salaam Gateway | 09 October, 2017  Print

Increasing the beef catttle and buffalo population is key to meeting Malaysia's target of 50 percent beef self-sufficiency by 2020. However, beef cattle and buffalo numbers have actually dropped between 2013 and 2015, according to latest available data from Malaysia's Department of Veterinary Services. 

WHY THE DROP?

In September this year, agro-based industry minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek told local press it was cheaper for Malaysia to import beef instead of breeding cows for meat consumption.

The continued growth of Malaysia's beef cattle production capacity depends on supplier profitability, which in turn is influenced primarily by the availability of cattle feed that constitutes a large proportion of the cost of production, according to a research study by the Institute of Agricultural and Food Policy Studies at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, and the Department of Agro Product Processing Technology at Bangladesh's Jessore University of Science and Technology.

According to the research, two factors could help boost Malaysia's cattle population: the development of grazing and fodder areas and genetic improvement. 

The research findings support the idea that the best policies to reach Malaysia's 50 percent beef self-sufficiency target by 2020 is through importation of animals for breeding, minimised rate of beef cattle mortality, increased fertility and the conduct of training in feed efficiency management. 

READ ALSO: How far is Malaysia from its target of 50 pct beef self-sufficiency?

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Malaysia beef cattle, buffalo population down between 2013 and 2015