KUCHING, May 23 — Sarawak is turning towards utilising oil palm by-products as raw material to produce fertiliser, animal feed and source of energy.
Sarawak Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said this approach was intended to cushion the impact of soaring prices of fertiliser and animal feed.
“At this juncture, we are focusing on animal feed so that we can reduce the price of meat and other products that is being imported or obtained locally,” he told a press conference at the sidelines of the State Assembly sitting here today.
According to him, Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) which has five oil palm mills has been entrusted to manufacture animal feed using by-products from these mills.
“With this capacity, they are able to produce 100,000 metric tonnes per year that will be about 10 per cent of what is required in the State,” he said.
Dr Rundi said a total of 85 oil palm mills are currently operating in Sarawak and would be able to supply more than the required animal feed required by the state.
“From there on, we can also develop fertiliser and so on (from the by-products),” he said, adding that research and development (R&D) in the state’s agro sector would need to be strengthened in order to improve the quality of the products.
He said the R&D in the sector would also facilitate the task to mitigate the spread of viruses and diseases affecting livestock in the state.
“In the agro sector, we have to keep abreast with the global developments as in (information on) demand and (our) ability to supply,” he added. — Bernama
Source : MalayMail