In line with its objective to increase Indonesia’s cattle population, the Partnership conducts the Commercial Cattle Breeding and Management Training Program twice a year.
Part of the broader Skills Development Program, the course allows professionals from the Indonesian cattle industry to learn more about sustainable and commercially feasible breeding and production methods.
Lidwina Chandra, a technical support officer at PT Austasia Stockfeed in Lampung, joined 19 other cattle industry participants from across Indonesia as the third group to undertake the training program.
The Indonesian leg began on 1 April 2019 in collaboration with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta. It featured classroom training at the university as well as site visits held across Central Java, East Java and Central Kalimantan through until 20 April 2019.
For Lidwina, who graduated from university with a major in animal husbandry, the site visit in Central Kalimantan left a strong impression. She was particularly interested in the integration of cattle breeding and palm oil production at PT Astra.
“I think it is interesting that the cattle breeding and the palm plantation can coexist with each other,” Lidwina says.
“The plantation can synchronize its schedule, so cattle and palm oil production work together. In Indonesia, such model has a lot of potential.”
While at UGM, participants were involved in a series of workshops and discussions on various topics, from technical aspects of cattle breeding—including animal health and reproduction, feed management and financial management—to emerging issues in the industry such as gender equality and social inclusion.
“The topic of gender equality and social inclusion is new for us who work in the Indonesian cattle industry,” says Galank Miphaldo from Great Giant Livestock, Lampung. “I think it’s very useful to involve everyone—regardless of their sex, physical condition or status—to improve the industry.”
The training program then shifted its focus to Australia, where activities were conducted from 21 to 30 April 2019 in Queensland.
Participants again engaged in various classroom discussions, covering important topics such as an overview of the Australian livestock sector, nutrition and supplements for better performance of herds, and efforts to maximize fertility for productive cattle.
These topics provided a new perspective for the Indonesian students. They learned how the Australian cattle industry has maintained and improved its productivity over a number of years, overcoming difficult scenarios such as floods, droughts and economic downturns.
The participants were also taught strategies that could be applied to face similar industry obstacles in the Indonesian context.
For Lidwina Chandra, however, the most exciting aspect of the Australian training was a site visit to a cattle production facility in Gympie, Queensland, where she learned about product diversification.
“I realised that a farm can focus on different opportunities at the same time, to support the cattle breeding program,” she says.
“For example, the farm can develop excess pasture, then sell the fodder and seeds to other farms. This is a business model that could be applied at PT Austasia Stockfeed.”
Despite a hectic schedule, Lidwina says that she would definitely recommend the Commercial Cattle Breeding and Management Training Program to her colleagues and peers in the cattle industry.
“At university, it was only theory I learned on campus. This training program gives you practical knowledge and a whole new perspective.”
From 2014 to 2017, the Partnership allocated $4.2 million to capacity-building programs in the red meat and cattle sector. Under the second phase, covering 2018 to 2020, a further $3 million has been allocated.
“Through this training, we promote the transfer of knowledge and exchange of experiences between academics and industry players,” says George Hughes, Agriculture Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.
“This helps us to find the skills and knowledge that are most suitable for Indonesia’s cattle sector in achieving global competency and competitiveness.”
As a collaborative partner and facilitator of the training program, Professor Ali Agus, Dean of the UGM Faculty of Animal Husbandry, emphasises that cooperation between universities, industry, and the government is vital to strengthen the livestock sector in Indonesia.
“This collaboration is a contribution from the academic community to improve the cattle sector in Indonesia, especially in the commercial cattle breeding sector,” Professor Agus says.
According to Petrus Widyantoro from the Advisory and Support Group, the highlight of the Commercial Cattle Breeding and Management Training is not only the classroom learnings but also site visits, where participants can observe best practices from different cattle production systems.
“We want to show the participants how commercial cattle breeding [in Australia] works,” Mr Widyantoro says. “They get to see the facilities, the infrastructure, the human resources and the management techniques.”
For more information about the Partnership’s programs, visit redmeatcattlepartnership.org
The Partnership and GAPUSPINDO (the Indonesian Beef Cattle Business Association) have come together to initiate an official Breeding Manager Competency Certification scheme.
The scheme is being implemented by the Indonesian Livestock Professional Certification Agency, with certificates awarded to all participants who complete the Partnership’s Commercial Cattle Breeding and Management Training Program (including those who undertook the 2018 courses).
Fully endorsed by the National Professional Certification Agency, the competency certification will be the first professional recognition for breeding managers in Indonesia.
Joni Liano, Executive Director of GAPUSPINDO, expressed his appreciation to the Partnership for pursuing the idea of the scheme.
“Cattle breeding has become a very important business sector in promoting food security in Indonesia,” Mr Liano said. “Therefore, the competency certification scheme is very important to maintain the qualifications of our workforce in the field of cattle breeding.”
Muhamad Isradi Alireja, Team Leader of the Advisory and Support Group for the Partnership, echoed Mr Liano’s sentiments.
“The Partnership is committed to improving the competency and qualifications of Indonesian workers in the red meat and cattle sector,” Mr Alireja said. “This certification will become an integral part of our training scheme.”
The certification will provide added value for the alumni who complete the Commercial Cattle Breeding and Management Training Program, allowing them to be officially recognised and advance their careers in the cattle breeding sector in Indonesia.