From afar the all-galvanized sheep sheds looked impressive. So too were the launching tents.
I was on my way to Runcang, the would-be launching site for the Pekan agropolitan come August 4 2009. It will be launched by non-other YAB Dato' Seri Najib, our Prime Minister and the Pekan Member of parliament.
The sheds looked more impressive, at least from their cost of construction, as I neared them. Three weeks ago there was nothing on the ground, now there were six of them, four were ready and the other two in the final construction.
600 plus Dorper ewes and rams in the ration of 1 ram to 25 ewes had just arrived from Australia. Their winter coat was still evident.
Surprisingly, they appeared healthy. None had died since their arrival.
Finally there will be ten sheds housing 1000 ewes and 40 rams in the area. Each shed will be looked after by three poor Orang Asli who will be paid monthly.
For the first 6 months the sheep will be under the care of Major Transglobal Sdn Bhd (MTG). After that Felda Farm Products will take over the running of the project.
Besides the minor modifications and repairs that had to be done on the sheds, I think it was the pasture that they really need if the project is to be successful.
The rushing to get the thing impressive enough for the launching repeated the same mistakes by many new livestock farmers.
In their eagerness to start, they most often forget that they are living things that they are dealing with. They often develop the pasture last!
The grand ECER design of the project ,which upon completion, will house 25,000 sheep in 250 such luxurious sheds, training, auction, R&D, abattoir, tannery etc etc will make the project the biggest in Malaysia.
They are also thinking of naming the breed as Pekan Dorper!
Good luck Pekan Agropolitan.