The Indonesia-Australia Commercial Cattle Breeding (IACCB) programme has four projects up and running and is aiming to finalise the makeup of the final projects by April 2017. A 5:3 mix between commercial scale and smallholder projects is likely, with most commercial projects being varying models of the SISKA system (cattle grazed under oil palms) (see picture).
In addition to Australian cattle, the IACCB is providing a range of support mechanisms tailored for each partner including technical advice, field staff, business management training and a practical herd management system, while programme partners will co-invest contributions of land, staff, infrastructure and other in-kind resources.For more information about the programme, please visit the Indonesia-Australia Commercial Cattle Breeding Program website or email Contact Us.
The condition of the cattle has continued to improve over the life of the programme, with the latest reports showing that participating cooperatives are continuing to look after the cattle well. The local Dinas is providing ongoing support in the form of training and advice for farmer groups, supported by the project manager, Greg Smith (see picture). Immature bulls are growing and appear to be reaching maturity faster than anticipated, with six of the participating cooperatives purchasing their own bulls.
Calf growth has been exceptional with many 12-month old calves appearing to be over 300kg. This is as a result of the farmers leaving the calves on their mothers for extended periods without weaning, which has reflected negatively on the mother's condition and ability to re-conceive. Calving has commenced for breeder heifers which were conceived in Indonesia, however, it is difficult to quantify the estimated number of calves and conception rates, due to a lack of proper facilities and ability to conduct pregnancy testing.
In response to this, a local employee has been appointed by the project manager to audit cooperatives' records and collate individual data for each cow. The audit will help identify any issues that affect the animal's performance and identify any cause for poor productivity, such as poor nutrition or lack of weaning. This will provide valuable background information on calving and conception rates and be used to identify successful factors in a smallholder breeding programme, as well as the overall economic viability.
A number of brief video testimonials have been produced by Australia Awards for the Skills Development Short Course Awards programme funded under the Partnership. The videos include testimonials from three past participants, Mr Saiful Bari (animal husbandry and cattle production), Ms Fitriani Hidayah (meat production, processing and supply chain management) and Ms Frieska Ayu Pamela (policy development for livestock production and supply chains). The videos highlight the personal benefits that the programme is providing to awardees, and how the experience is contributing to their further development in the Indonesian red meat and cattle sector.
To view the videos, click on the links below:
In early February 2017, the Advisory and Support Group (ASG) visited the five abattoirs that participated in the Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in Indonesian Abattoirs project and the processing stream of the Partnership Skills Development Programme, to review the effectiveness of the projects.
The review found that participants benefited from the exposure of working in Australian export abattoirs and were determined to initiate incremental changes in their own abattoirs on their return. The participants adopted many new approaches into their own facility using low cost technology focussing on hygiene, health and safety. They implemented changes such as installing boot scrubbers, non-hand operated taps and focused on the placement of cleaning equipment to maximise effectiveness. Most companies had progressively updated their SOPs, focussing on Quality Assurance (QA) procedures.
The recommendations from the review will be considered by the Processing Working Group in the near future. This will help guide possible future activities that build the skills and capability of the processing sector.
The Indonesian Partnership members met on 7 February 2017 to discuss the development of the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework being developed for the Partnership. The M&E Advisor, Mr David Goodwins from the Advisory and Support Group (ASG) presented a draft M&E Framework and sought feedback from the group, with agreement that feedback would be finalised after further consultation with the Indonesian membership.
During President Widodo’s state visit to Australia (26 February 2017), Prime Minister Turnbull and President Widodo met for the annual Indonesia-Australia Leaders’ Meeting with other Australian and Indonesian Ministers in Sydney.
The Joint Statement released by both leaders specifically mentioned the Partnership (Key Point 11):
Leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining stable food supply and affordability and reaffirmed their commitment to build cooperation in the beef and cattle industry. Leaders recognised the progress made so far through the Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector and the focus on building a strong integrated supply chain in cattle and beef products between the two countries. They agreed that market-based solutions and building capacity are the best means to ensure strong and productive industries, stabilise prices and grow market.’
The full Joint Statement can be found on the Prime Minister of Australia website.
A joint media release was issued on 25 February 2017 by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker in response to Indonesia's advice of policy changes to import conditions for live cattle.