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Livestock Expected to Help Indonesia Become Global Food Barn

28 September 2017

INDONESIA - Livestock, one of the important contributors to the agricultural sector, is expected to build the nation's food resilience and help it achieve the ultimate goal of becoming a global food barn in 2045.

By encouraging commercial livestock rearing, Indonesias vision to become a global food barn in 2045 would be achieved, according to I Ketut Diarmita, the director general of Animal Husbandry and Animal Health.

According to AntaraNews.com, to boost growth in the animal husbandry sector, livestock should serve as a driving force to achieve the target of making the country a global food barn.

Dean of the Faculty of Animal Husbandry of the Gadjah Mada University Ali Agus had stated that farms in tropical countries were significantly able to boost food sovereignty.

"The role of livestock in tropical countries is important for developing self-reliance since livestock functions as a means of savings and capital accumulation and to supply inputs for food crops through the production of manure that can be processed into fertilizer," he remarked.

Efforts to measure the contribution of livestock to realizing food sovereignty in tropical countries are critical to identifying the superiority and competitiveness of commodities and their derivative products, he added.

Director of Processing and Marketing of Fisheries of the Agriculture Ministry Fini Murfiani had noted on Saturday (23 September) that the primary objective of increasing production is to meet the domestic demand after which Indonesia should expand its export market for livestock products, such as meat, eggs, goats, and sheep.

With this development, it is not impossible for Indonesia to become a global food barn in 2045.

Unfortunately, Indonesia continues to import beef to meet its domestic need. Last year, for instance, it still had to import at least 238 thousand tons of beef, or about 600 thousand heads of cattle.

This is regardless of the governments efforts to increase its cattle population through the development of small-scale livestock farming centers, with a funding of Rp500 billion.

Hence, last week, on 22-24 September, at least 1,200 livestock breeders had congregated at the Cibubur Scout Camping Site, East Jakarta, to hold the National Livestock Jamboree and seek ways to advance the countrys animal husbandry sector.

During the event, breeders and stakeholders held a national meeting, cordial discussion, and a dialog with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

According to I Ketut Diarmita, the National Livestock Jamboree event is being organized to encourage the contribution of the livestock sub-sector and to consolidate the livestock business.

Another objective of holding the event was to raise interest in the livestock business and improve the spirit and creativity of breeders to improve the local genetics and develop cultural arts related to breeders, he noted.

"We laud the breeders, so they become more active and dedicated," he remarked while adding that the jamboree aims to increase public interest in the livestock business, such as sheep and goat rearing.

Hence, the focus of the jamboree will be on sheep and goat farming. Several awards were bestowed at the National Livestock Jamboree, including trophies from the president, which were handed over to winners of various contests, such as sheep and sheep dexterity competitions.

"We were not just discussing about cattle, but we also want to attain self-sufficiency in animal protein. Of course, we want to source it not only from cattle but also from sheep and goats," he stated.

The National Livestock Jamboree highlights the message that the animal husbandry sub-sector has an important role in meeting the publics need for animal protein. Protein intake can be met from meat, eggs, and milk that play an important role in improving the quality of human resources. Protein is crucial to maintaining health and improving the intelligence of people.

Apart from the meeting, the peoples protein requirement and livestock production, which could be increased, will also optimize the potential of domestic markets and symbolize the revival of the peoples economy.

Hence, President Jokowi said the livestock business in Indonesia should be managed professionally similar to corporations from the upstream to downstream sectors.

"Livestock should be (managed) professionally. It should have nursery and fodder industries, and it should be consolidated from upstream to downstream under one organization. If it can be consolidated well, it will become more efficient," President Jokowi had stated while addressing some 1,200 sheep breeders during the National Livestock Jamboree 2017 event at Graha Wisata of the Bumi Perkemahan Scout Camping Site during the national jamboree on Sunday (Sept 24).

According to the president, if breeders in Indonesia are able to consolidate their businesses and become more efficient, they will have a greater possibility of exporting their products.

Thus, he said, the livestock sector of Indonesia can compete with those of other countries, as it has been able to optimally industrialize its operations.

If the price is still less competitive, it means there are inefficient sectors in Indonesia's livestock industry.

"I think it would be better if we offer the necessary stimulus to farmers to enter the banking system (to have access to banks), similar to taking credits. If one person borrows 25 (25 million rupiah), it means that 100 people will borrow one billion, and that is already a huge industry. That is what I have observed in other countries," he explained.

Hence, he asserted that the cattle business is no longer carried out on a small scale as what had been done until now, but it is at an industrial scale, with several cage operators and modern management.

"This is what we are going to do for all our farmers," he added.

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