"So far Malaysia has imported sheep from Australia. Whereas Indonesia has the potential to supply the Malaysian requirement with cheaper cost. Indonesia is much closer geographically that the transport cost would be much lower," the minister said here on Thursday.
The Minister was here to launch the first export of sheep to Malaysia by PT Inkopmar Cahaya Buana.
He said there are 60,000 heads of sheep to be shipped to Malaysia, with the first shipment 2,100 heads valued at Rp3.78 billion.
"The sheep are the type with slim tail, all males, to be slaughtering for their meat," he said.
He said he hoped that Indonesia could maintain and increase exports of sheep.
"Malaysia needs around 5,000 heads of sheep per month or 60,000 heads a year and Indonesia is expected to be able to supply the requirement," he said.
The minister is said he is optimistic Indonesia could increase its exports of live sheep and goats.
He said according to an official figure, the country had a population of 35.05 million of heads of sheep and goat in 2017 including 4.72 million heads in East Java.
The country's production of mutton totaled 124,842 tons in 2017 The production is surplus that could be exported , the minister said. (*)