In 2019, with support from the Indonesian Society for Animal Husbandry (ISPI), 20 animal husbandry students from 16 Indonesian universities received eight weeks of valuable training at Australian cattle stations across the Northern Territory.
Mr Ashley Manicaros, Chief Executive Officer of the NTCA, as quoted in beefcentral.com , says NIAPP operates to strengthen industry relations between Indonesia and Australia, with a particular emphasis on practices in the Northern Territory.
“The territory is the largest live exporting region in Australia, and Indonesia is the primary destination for its cattle,” Mr Manicaros says.
“This program is targeted at the future beef industry leaders of Indonesia.”
“So far, there are more than 100 NIAPP alumni who have been through our program and are now contributing to the development of the Indonesian industry.”
Before their departure to Australia, the 20 most recent students participated in orientation training, facilitated by the Indonesian Society for Animal Husbandry and held at PT Pasir Tengah in Cianjur, West Java from 12 August to 16 August 2019.
The group arrived in Australia on 20 August 2019. They then went through two weeks of intensive training at the Heaslip Facility at the NTCA Bohning Yards in Alice Springs from 28 August to 13 September 2019.
After that, the participants were assigned to 10 different cattle stations across the Northern Territory, where they gained first-hand experience working as station hands.
Persistence Works For Wahyu
Wahyu Jaelani, a student at the Animal Husbandry Faculty of Hasanuddin University in South Sulawesi province, had been determined to enter NIAPP for more than a year.
The 21-year-old says the program was perfect for his studies because his university would count it as an internship, which would earn him course credits.
“One of my goals was to find work experience in another country,” Wahyu explains. “So I asked a colleague who was already a NIAPP graduate about the program.”
“I was curious and wanted to know how I could also get accepted. He told me what I needed to do to prepare.”
Wahyu worked hard to fulfill the program’s entry requirements—including writing an essay on how he wanted to contribute to the Indonesian cattle industry—and his hard work and determination eventually paid off.
Wahyu was selected as one of the 20 students for NIAPP 2019, and was subsequently placed for work experience at the Lakefield Station at Sturt Plateau, Northern Territory.
The Animal Husbandry student was impressed with the breeding technology at the station, and was surprised to discover that they did not rely on artificial insemination.
“They try to breed new calves using quality bulls and they have a management system to support the process from the beginning until the end.”
Wahyu also learned about Lakefield’s cattle recording system, and now believes that the Indonesian cattle industry needs to have a comprehensive recording system.
Once he graduates from Hasanuddin University, Wahyu wants to pursue a career in the red meat industry.
“I think the meat industry in Indonesia has a lot of potential, and we have a lot of land. I’m sure our farms can be as advanced as the ones they have in Australia,” he says.
Gina Warms to Territory Life
Another participant in NIAPP 2019, Gina Arya Mardiah, was assigned to Newcastle Waters Cattle Station, where she initially had difficulty adjusting to the hot, dry weather.
“It’s hotter than in Indonesia,” Gina says with a laugh.
However, the 20-year-old student from Padjadjaran University in West Java soon adapted to the working environment of the Northern Territory.
Gina says she learned a lot about the early weaning program conducted at the cattle station during a long period of drought.
She explains that early weaning is done so that the cows can recover their body condition more quickly, instead of giving valuable nutrition to the weaners during the dry weather.
“I realized this can be applied in several areas of Indonesia as well,” she says.
Gina not only received valuable knowledge about cattle management while working at the station, she also had a lot of fun.
“I learned how to ride a horse,” she adds. “That was really interesting.”
Gina hopes that what she learned in Australia during the eight-week program can help her improve Indonesia’s cattle industry in the future.
“I am grateful to be able to meet different people in the cattle industry, both in Indonesia and Australia, and to expand my network,” she says.
“From these people, I understand more about Animal Husbandry in Indonesia, common problems that our traditional farmers face, and the solutions needed to tackle those problems.”
For more information on NIAPP, visit ntca.org.au