EVERGREEN LIVESTOCK FARM
Pemuda UPKO headed by Mr. Arthur Sen visit Evergreen Sdn Bhd Keningau. The 276 acres land here is probably one of the country’s largest private livestock and dairy farm.
Yap’s farm, which currently has about 4 thousand heads of dairy cattle, produces about 14 million litres of dairy milk , which is about 40 to 60% percent of Sabah’s total dairy milk production a year.
For information, 1 cattle can produce average 10 liters per day. Anyway cow needs to consume food as much as 10% of its body mass. Example if weight of a cattle is 500kg. It needs to eat 50 kg of grass daily. To rear 1 cattle. We need at least 1 acre of land. Mr. Yap runs his own effluent and water system efficiently to protect the environment.
Yap, 48, talked passionately about his involvement in livestock breeding, which is a genuine fascination he developed as a young boy.
“My parents were very poor, and my education only up to Form 3” Speaking in fluent Bahasa Melaysia. Yap said he first started his dairy farm on a two-acre land at Ansip Baru, Keningau in 1982 with support from the Department of Veterinary which supplied him with only two cows.
“I cleared the land, built huts and planted grass for animal feed. After 10 years, my dairy farm was already producing 400 litres of dairy milk a day,” he said.
Yap said an unfortunate incident in 1987 nearly ruined his business when about 100 heads of cattle at his farm died mysteriously. A check later found that the animals were poisoned.
“I started all over again with what was left. I was not dispirited (by the incident) but deep in my heart, I believed that God knows the truth,” he said.
But Yap believes that his experience in livestock and dairy farming should be shared with others.
INVITATIONS ” I receive many invitations to give talks about my hands-on experience on livestock and dairy farming. Sometimes people also phoned to ask some advice on how to start this business,” said Yap. Yap said even 1 local university offered him to be a honorary lecturer with salary RM5000 per month.He laugh as saying he is not a lecturer. “I think that while there is a need to encourage big players to participate in the livestock and dairy farming industry, I hope the government also considers giving more incentives like allowing a more competitive price for locally-produced dairy milk”.
FRUSTRATIONS Anyway, Yap is a bit frustrated that Sabah Government recent circulation and policies which he feels that Sabah lifestock rearer and planters are at loosing side.
“It is difficult for me to understand why palm oil planters were tax five times in Malaysia! I think I never heard a country with such policy thru all over the world. Imagine that, Palm oil planters dont have subsidies like LIGS (Rubber Board).”
Citing that he have difficulties in selling his cow meat due to flip-flop policy of the government. “The government should protect the local farmers intrest fist, before start importing all this so called Indian cheep meat. How can I sell my cow meat if the ceiling price are so low?” “I am at the loosing side although my cow meat are fresh.”
He said that he pity small players which having problems in ensuring less bacteria in their milk which very often being rejected by the buyer. “Luckily I have a chiller box. After getting the milk, we need to lower the milk temperature from 30 degree to 3 degree in 1 minutes”
Mr. Yap have been elected as Keningau Lifestock Association and recently Advisor of Tenom Association. “I have held this post for many years and want to relinquish it. But the association member decline. Anyway, I am very happy to give advice to any younger generation abot lifestock and Palm oil mill cultivation”