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Malaysia Livestock Industry Development

The Situation

In 2004, the Malaysian Government convened a high-level Ministerial Advisory Committee to develop strategies to facilitate development of the country’s livestock industry. Market demand for livestock products was strong, but the local livestock production industry had not kept pace with rapid industrialisation in other sectors.

Smallholder farmers lacked access to land, capital, skills and technology needed to increase production. At the same time, there were significant barriers to entry for investors wishing to undertake larger scale livestock production initiatives. Rural dwellers’ livelihoods were at stake and the country was facing rocketing beef and dairy product import costs.

The Process

Dr Alan Pearson of Prime Consulting International Ltd was invited to join the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Livestock Industry Development as one of two appointed international advisors. From 2004 to 2006, Prime did analyses on the various industry sectors and proposed plans for removing barriers to their development. Key issues identified were access to land and finance, gaps in the industry skills base and farm biosecurity. As part of the work done, a study tour to New Zealand was organised for senior Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture officials. Relationships and insights created led to several other work streams in subsequent years.

The Outcome

The work of the Livestock Industry Development Committee resulted in an improved willingness of State Governments to provide access to agricultural lands for livestock projects, along with a number of Federal Government incentive schemes to encourage private sector investment in the sector. Prime assisted with industry capacity building through the design and delivery of an animal husbandry train-the-trainer programme in partnership with the country’s National Agriculture Training Council, and organised work-based vocational training for Malaysian trainees in New Zealand. Prime is now working with private sector investors in Malaysia on dairy industry development initiatives that involve vertical integration of farming, milk processing and marketing with a producer base underpinned by large farms as a central hub, supported by networks of smallholder farmers. Through this work, Prime has not only contributed to capacity building of the Malaysian livestock industry, but also gained a deep understanding of Southeast Asian development needs.

Prime team members involved:

  • Alan Pearson
  • Rhona MacKenzie
  • Sivasupramaniam Govindarajoo
  • Inputs also from Max Tuhan, Agriculture Services Ltd and Dairy Production Services Ltd