TANJUNG MALIM – It all started with only 16 rabbits. Now, Koperasi Felda Besout 5 has 400 New Zealand White breed broiler rabbits in its rabbit breeding centre near here, to help supplement the income of settlers.
The project commenced in December last year involving 102 settlers who are determined to make their breeding centre, located within the Slim state constituency, among the leading rabbit meat producers in the country and turning it into an agro-tourism attraction.
Felda Besout 5 manager, Amiruddin Abu Kassim said all this while, Felda settlers have been relying on the revenue from oil palm plantation and now, the new economic activity could help them earn side income of between RM400 to RM500 which could increase up to RM5,000 a year in five years.
“We choose broiler rabbit farming because of its high market demand and low supply. Besides it does not required a large initial capital and rabbits could produce faster yield as they could be sold for meat in a month,” he told Bernama when met recently.
He explained that a doe of this breed could mate about seven to eight times a year and give birth to between six and 12 kits each time.
Amiruddin said the market price for the rabbit meat could reach up to RM38 per kilogramme (kg) and the breeding centre could supply up to 200 kg to the Malaysian Association of Rabbit Breeders (MARBA).
In the meantime, a resident of Kampung Klan Halt, Slim River, Anuar Hussin, 42, quit his sales job to venture into farming too.
He now breeds ‘ayam kampung’ (domestic chicken) for both local and interstate market since 2015.
Assisted by his wife, Normadiah Shamsudin, 36, Anuar has ventured into Bokashi bran chicken feed from soy residue.
“We had a feed shortage problem due to low supply despite the increasing number of chicken farms here. So, we apply the knowledge we gained through some courses and on the internet to produce our own chicken feed since three years ago,” he said.
The AHB Farm Enterprise director said the effort not just help him to reduce cost but he also sells about 100 kg of chicken feed every week via social media.
Meanwhile, Slim River Area Farmers Organisation (PPK) general manager Wira Ismail said his office is in the process of providing Anuar with a processing machine to speed up his feed production.
He said the Slim River PPK prepared various assistance to its 45 private farmer members to further expand their business, including marketing their products at the Peladang farmers produce market held every Thursday from 7 am to 12 noon in Slim town.
“PPK has the responsibility to help its members to improve their economic and social status, increase their knowledge, skills, and income as well as the quality of life to create a progressive, independent and united farming community,” he said.
Most residents within the Slim constituency are involved in oil palm plantation, particularly in the five Felda schemes, namely Felda Trolak Utara, Felda Trolak Selatan, Felda Gunung Besout 1, 2 and 5.
Meanwhile, Perak Agriculture, Fishery, Plantation and Food Security Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Yunus Jamahri said the state government welcomed youths to venture into agriculture, fishery and livestock farming.
He said the group could apply for idle or abandoned government or agency land for them to cultivate.
“The state agriculture department welcomes any quarters who want to carry out agricultural projects as it can boost the agricultural industry in Perak, thereby increasing the production of agro products in the state,” he said.