Desa Cattle Takes Over Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre in Spearheading the Development of Sabah Dairy and Beef Cattle Industries

Kota Kinabalu (Monday) – With effect from July 1, 2021, State GLC Desa Cattle Sdn Bhd will be taking over as owner of the Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre (KILC) from the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA). In addition, they will be the anchor investor for phase two of KILC expansion in spearheading the development of dairy and beef cattle industries in Sabah.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor (centre), State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Safar bin Untong (second from right) and Desa Group Chairman Aksyah bin Nasrah (far left) watch as SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hashim Paijan (far right) and Desa Group Chief Executive Officer Emiliana Chin (second from left) exchange documents during a handing-over ceremony at the State Administrative Centre

The Keningau Integrated Livestock Centre is a long-term strategic development programme designed to produce high quality breed dairy cattle based on a three-tier system, namely the Nucleus, Multiplier and Commercial farms. This concept will be able to support dairy and beef industry development in Sabah in a sustainable manner.

KILC is designed to house 2,000 heads of adult dairy cattle with an ultimate targeted yearly milk production of 10 million litres and 810 heads of feeder cattle, which is equivalent to 1,500 metric tonnes of beef per year. The total capital investment required for the development is estimated at RM118 million. The project is to be developed into two phases, where Phase One development (RM57.3 million) of the infrastructure and building works for 500 heads capacity was provided by the Federal Government, and Phase Two development and expansion (RM60.7 million) of infrastructure and building works for 2,000 heads capacity will be fully funded by private sector investment. Phase One development of KILC was completed on August 19, 2013, via SEDIA.

KILC as the Nucleus farm is designed to resolve the shortage in supply of high-quality breeds of local dairy and beef cattle, which is the major limiting factor that hinders the development of the dairy and beef cattle industries in Sabah, and Malaysia as a whole. This approach ensures that the Nucleus farm will continuously upgrade and improve breed performance through genetic upgrades via advanced reproductive technology. These improved quality breeds will be multiplied at the Multiplier farms and be distributed to local farmers at the Commercial farms level, ensuring high milk production so as to increase revenue and income of dairy farmers. At the same time, KILC will also act as a catalyst to attract private investments in setting up dairy cattle multiplier and breeder farms to increase the breeder population as well as the associated value-added downstream industries.

KILC is the first Nucleus farm of its kind in the whole of Malaysia with a specific objective to increase the genetic quality and enhance the productivity of dairy and beef cattle breeds which is crucial in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the dairy and beef cattle industries in the country.

Since the commencement of operations in 2013, KILC has since quintupled its yearly milk production, from 0.5 million litres in 2014 to 2.5 million litres in 2020. The average yield per cow has also been increased from 6.5 litres/day in 2014 to 17.3 litres/day in 2019, while the national average yield in Sabah is still around 12 litres/day.

On top of the completion of basic infrastructure, all technical and administrative requirements necessary for the farm’s operations have been established to stabilise KILC operations. 40 local staffs have been employed while three international experts have also been engaged for the training & supervision for the knowledge transfer & skills training of local staff, reaching international standards and world-class Animal Husbandry practices. Collaboration with UMS has also been established, and a total of 10 UMS graduates have completed their eight-month industry training, of which three of the graduates are currently under full time employment at KILC.

The long-term target for KILC is to produce high-quality breeder dairy cattle with productivity beyond 7,000 litres per annum (i.e. more than 23 litres/day) and achieving its mission to be a premier breeder centre in the country.

KILC has undergone an enhancement programme, and a Supplementary Master Plan study has been carried out for the improvement of long-term sustainability, and to fully address the gaps and challenges currently faced by the dairy cattle industry in Sabah. The KILC enhancement programme will ensure a more positive collaboration and outcome with the future investor, in the development of a ruminant industry in Sabah. Desa Cattle Sdn Bhd, which has been entrusted by the State Government as the anchor company, will lead the development of KILC to its full potential and represent the state in spearheading the ruminant industry in Sabah.

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