Twenty-six participants of the Partnership’s Skills Development Programme on Animal Husbandry and Cattle Production arrived in Armidale, New South Wales on Saturday 18 March 2017 for a 6-week short course. The course comprises theoretical and applied learning including work placement in Longreach and Emerald for applied training. The course focuses on improving the long-term sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of Indonesia's cattle sector by enhancing the exchange of expertise, building technical capacity on contemporary animal husbandry and cattle production practices and developing linkages between experts working in the red meat sector.
A proposal is currently being developed by the Advisory and Support Group (ASG) for consideration by the Breeding Work Group. Following discussion by members at the 5th Partnership meeting in Perth as a future possible activity, the ASG has been scoping the possibility of a developing a cattle breeding training program for delivery in Indonesia. In mid-March 2017, the ASG held a series of consultations with Indonesian cattle breeders and feed lotters to gain their input to the concept. A concept of the proposal will be tabled before the breeding working group in the coming months for consideration.
With the recent addition of KPT Maju Sejahtera as another smallholder project under IACCB, the program currently has five projects up and running. The selection process for the three remaining projects is currently underway.
This month, IACCB held a training on back rubber and portable fencing at the BKB/Santosa site in South Kalimantan, facilitated by Dr Ross Ainsworth. Dr Esnawan Budisantoso also conducted a training on pasture management on the BNT site in Bengkulu. Calving has commenced at BKB/Santosa and SPR Mega Jaya and is being closely monitored by the partner sites and the IACCB team
Partnership Briefing for the Indonesian Industry – A meeting with Indonesian Beef Cattle Producers Association (GAPUSPINDO) and Indonesian meat importers/processors was held on 1 March 2017. At the meeting, Minister-Counsellor (Agriculture), Mr Dean Merrilees, provided a brief overview of the Partnership objectives and activities, followed by an update on the Indonesia Australia Commercial Cattle Breeding Program (IACCB) by Mr Dick Slaney (IACCB Program Director) and a presentation on the upcoming Joint Industry Strategy workshop by Ms Valeska (MLA Indonesia Country Manager).
Australian Partnership Member Meeting – A teleconference of the Australian Partnership members took place on the afternoon of 15 March 2017. The secretariat provided the members an update on the re-appointment process, development of a Partnership Work-Plan for 2017, status of project proposals which were considered at the 5th Partnership meeting, as well as a summary of recent bilateral meetings held, such as Indonesia-Australia Business Week.
MLA Indonesia Taskforce Meeting – A meeting of the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Indonesia Taskforce took place in Brisbane on 16 March 2017. The meeting was facilitated by the independent facilitator who is leading the development of the Joint Industry Strategy (Mr Benjamin Battisson) and allowed the taskforce members to discuss the main themes and actions they would like to see represented in the Joint Industry Strategy.
Ms Sally-Ann Watts was confirmed as the new Austrade government representative on the Partnership in February 2017. Ms Watts fills the position vacated by Mr Kym Hewett, who retired in December 2016.
Ms Watts is the Minister Commercial and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Jakarta. In this role she leads a team in Jakarta and Makassar, promoting Trade, Education and Investment between Australia and Indonesia. Ms Watts has held a number of senior roles with Austrade in Australia, and has more than 10 years’ experience as Senior Trade Commissioner with Austrade in Tokyo, Toronto and Los Angeles.
Prior to joining Austrade, Ms Watts spent 8 years with KPMG Consulting in Melbourne, where she led a practice focused on cross-border trade and investment, assisting Australian and North American organisations with their investments and other business across Asia.
With the early harvest phase of the Partnership coming to a close in 2017/18, as well as the development of the Joint Industry Strategy, the Partnership secretariat with the support of DFAT and the ASG will be reviewing and consolidating all Partnership activities.
The purpose of the review is to analyse the effectiveness of existing programmes, determine ways of improving communication and governance arrangements of the Partnership, as well as agree on priority areas of focus for Phase II of the Partnership (2018/19 – onwards). The activities, governance arrangements and priority areas of focus of Phase II of the Partnership will be developed in close consultation with Australian and Indonesian Partnership members in 2017. This document will draw on the outcomes of the Joint Industry Strategy and will be presented at the sixth Partnership meeting for discussion.