ELITE BREED: Some Boer goats at the Kluang Mardi station. The goats produce mutton of the best quality.
BOER goats will soon dot the fields of animal husbandry farms all over the country with the success of a high-technology Boer goat breeding project by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi).
|CREATING A SUPERIOR BREED: A Boer goat undergoing surgery for the removal of an embryo at the National Animal Embryo Centre.|
The goat produces mutton of the best quality with low fat content.
The ARB project involves the production of embryos from quality cows and goats especially imported from mutton-producing areas like South Africa and Australia that are bred at satellite and breeding farms nationwide to create a livestock nucleus or elite group.
The government had also set up a National Boer Goat Farm in Pondok Tanjung, Perak, and a National Feedlot Centre in Negri Sembilan under this project.
Two representatives from South Africa were present to deliver certificates to NAEC and ARB for the purpose.
"We're now encouraging more livestock farmers to breed the elite stock of Boer goats being produced here in helping the country achieve self-sufficiency in mutton supply.
"Currently, only about nine-per cent of mutton is from locally bred goats but with this new project, we're confident of tremendously boosting our production."
Muhyiddin said the government would ensure that livestock farmers interested in taking up Boer goat breeding get the necessary support from Bank Pertanian, Fund for Food, SME Bank and others, adding that this new bio-technology would also be used for breeding other livestock.
The Boer goat project was among the latest advances in biotechnology on display at the three-day Showcase Bio-Business Mardi 2008 at the Kluang Mardi station opened by Muhyiddin.
Muhyiddin said the event would help promote Kluang as a national focus area for livestock development.
In conjunction with the event, the NAEC centre, ARB project and three new Liberica coffee clones were launched by Muhyiddin.
The signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) and memorandum of agreement (MoA) between Mardi and participating entrepreneurs were also held together with techno-business matching and business clinics.
The signing ceremonies, which took place on the third day of the event, represented efforts by Mardi to forge partnerships with its industry friends to carry out research and development and commercialise potential technologies developed by it in the field of animal breeding, biotechnology, mechanisation and automation of agriculture.
At the ceremony, deputy secretary-general of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry Datuk Mokhtar Ismail said the MoUs and MoAs were in line with the ministry's commitment to empower the agriculture industry as an engine of growth for the development of the national economy.
He added that this could only be effectively achieved by continuous commercialisation of Mardi's R&D products and services such as herbs culture, processing of fruits and new generation fertilisers.
Among the exhibitions at the Mardi station in conjunction with the showcase event were samples of food consumed by the Malaysian astronaut while at the International Space Station.
There were a total of 200 Mardi inventions/innovations, including animal husbandry practices and animal feed, herbs, new potential industrial crops and agricultural and food engineering items on display.
A total of 30 Mardi technologies, including farm machinery and equipment; animal breeding techniques like embryo transfer and in-vitro fertilisation; silage production, organic fertiliser production and vegetative propagation of plants, were also demonstrated for the benefit of visitors.
The visitors were taken by special transport to view selected agro-technology projects at the research station.
A variety of agro-products developed by Mardi were also on sale while food and drinks were sold at a food court.
The visitors were also given a chance to take part in recreational and sporting events, including a drawing competition, fishing, flower and agricultural product arrangements, horseback riding and camping activities.
There was also a treasure hunt organised in conjunction with the event where participants headed from the Mardi headquarters in Serdang to Mardi Kluang station with stops at various agricultural projects along the route.