The Indonesia Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector (the Partnership) encourages more than 100 students and professionals to find innovative solutions to challenges in the red meat and cattle sector, especially to support farmers and small to medium enterprises.
This message was conveyed at the “Partnership’s Joint Alumni Symposium” that gathered its alumni from two of the Partnership’s short course programs, including the NTCA Indonesia Australia Pastoral Program and the Commercial Cattle Breeding and Management Course.
The symposium invited leading innovators in the sector, including ternaknesia.com who encourage investment in the cattle sector through crowdfunding; karapan.com who provide a marketplace for cattle farmers to simplify supply chains; and SMARTERNAK and Gama Sapi 4.0 who have developed the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) to monitor animal health and productivity.
Mr Wisnu Wijaya Soedibjo, Deputy for Investment Cooperation of BKPM and Indonesian co-chair of the Partnership, stated that Indonesia has tremendous potential in this sector, especially at the local level, and therefore needs the involvement of academics and the youth to contribute fresh ideas and innovations to support growth and investment in the sector.
Based on BKPM data, investment in the livestock sector is still relatively small. Livestock investment is only about 0.32% of the total domestic investment in 2017. Meanwhile, foreign investment in livestock sub-sector in 2016 is only 0.48% of the total foreign investment.
“The Partnership encourages young entrepreneurs, including fresh graduates, to be entrepreneurs and create innovative solutions in their respective regions by providing greater access to knowledge and building strong network in the sector,” stated Mr Soedibjo.
Agriculture Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, George Hughes, said that today’s symposium marks the commitment of Indonesia and Australia through the Partnership’s Skills Development Program to support and improve the red meat and cattle sector in Indonesia.
“Australia continues its commitment to boost the capacity of Indonesian students and professionals in the red meat and cattle sector. The Australian Government also has a grant mechanism for its alumni that can be accessed to support innovative solutions in the sector,” Mr Hughes said.
The Australian Government, through the Australia Awards in Indonesia (AAI), provides up to AUD 10,000 for every accepted proposal from its alumni to support the application and sharing of knowledge and experience gained by alumni during their studies in Australia.
Since 2015, the Partnership has allocated AUD 6.5 million to support skills and capability transfer of relevant stakeholders in the sector. To date, the Partnership has trained over 250 Indonesians in various short course programs held in Indonesia and Australia such as the student course, producer, policy, processor course and the latest Commercial Cattle Breeding and Management Training Program that concluded last week.
The Alumni symposium aims to strengthen the network and knowledge exchange between alumni and industry professionals so they can contribute their skills and knowledge to Indonesia’s red meat and cattle sector.
Ashley Manicaros, the CEO of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA), the Partnership’s partner is conducting the NTCA Indonesia Australia Pastoral Program (NIAPP) for Animal Science students of Indonesia stated that the NIAPP program has grown to become an important link between our regions. “The symposium like the program itself is an excellent avenue for expanding the knowledge base in this sector. We look forward to continuing to expand this relationship,” stated Ashley.