Ensuring Industry Growth Into the Future

Right from the program’s beginnings in 2016, the Indonesia-Australia Commercial Cattle Breeding Program (IACCB) team worked to ensure that partner enterprises could operate independently and the industry could expand organically.
  • P4S Karya Baru Mandiri trainer providing training to university students and smallholder farmers on the cut-and-carry cattle breeding model
  • Healthy growers at PT BKB, South Kalimantan, a SISKA (cattle under palm) cattle breeding operation

Throughout its five years of operations, IACCB prioritised commercial sustainability for its partner enterprises as well as the expansion of Indonesia’s cattle breeding sector into 2021 and beyond.

This work included making vital contributions to training institutions and consultancy services, ensuring that technical and informational platforms remain widely available, and supporting ongoing dialogue between government and industry.

“The IACCB Program was the only comprehensive cattle breeding study encompassing various models and is now viewed as an industry reference,” says Mr Jody Koesmendro, Secretary General of the National Meat Board, feedlot owner, and Partnership member. “The program’s results have been put into very useful guidelines for current operators and new investors.”

As part of its future-proofing efforts, IACCB also played an active role in helping its partner enterprise Buana Karya Bhakti (BKB) establish a SISKA (cattle under oil palm) training and consultancy business in South Kalimantan. This business is now delivering consultancy services, internships and training courses to advance SISKA knowledge across Indonesia. 

In addition, BKB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Brawijaya (Malang, East Java) to be the institution’s SISKA training provider. The company will also train smallholder farmers through the Resource Development Program of the Palm Oil Fund Management Agency. 

IACCB also provided curriculum development support to three smallholder partners who achieved accreditation to P4S (Pusat Pelatihan Pertanian Pedesaan Swadaya) status, which allows them to receive government support. All three partners are now providing training to students, government representatives, smallholder farmers, and other interested individuals. 

The sector’s future is further underpinned by smallholder business management services available through Gita Pertiwi. 

Gita Pertiwi, together with IACCB, developed an organisational strengthening approach specifically suited to smallholder cattle breeding cooperatives. The nongovernment organisation is now being engaged by Indonesia’s District Livestock Offices to develop smallholder cooperatives and has provided advice for the Ministry of Agriculture’s 1,000 Cattle Villages Program. 

These privately run training and consultancy services will continue to play an important role in the development of a sustainable red meat and cattle sector in Indonesia and should, in time, produce a cadre of cattle breeding industry advocates.

Meanwhile, IACCB has ensured free and ready access to its Commercial Cattle Breeding Manual, SISKA Prospectus, technical papers, technical and promotional videos, and industry tools (CALPROF, CALFIN, and CALPROS), providing current and potential investors with the impetus to grow or start their cattle breeding enterprises. 



IACCB identified a number of strategic issues  that the Partnership can address to support the growth of the cattle breeding industry in Indonesia.

According to the program’s Strategic Adviser, Mr Paul Boon, one such issue involves the traditional attitudes of oil palm plantation owners.

“Oil palm operators seem to have very fixed views about cattle under palm,” Mr Boon says. “Many remain concerned about free range cattle introducing new and unforeseen complications, affecting palm growth and oil production, and getting in the way of plantation operations.”

“IACCB has already comprehensively addressed these issues, showing that cattle have no impact on soil compaction or the spread of Ganoderma - a fungus that can cause palm oil tree death and considerable productivity losses.”

The program also developed integrated management systems that seamlessly align oil palm and cattle operations. 

“Reputable plantations report that grazing actually increases palm oil yield by 4% to 5%,” Mr Boon says, “That’s a very significant commercial result considering the maturity of the palm oil sector.”

Mr Boon insists that the key to changing entrenched oil palm industry views will be the continued promotion of IACCB results and tools, combined with providing a clear understanding of the benefits to long-term operators in the sector. 

“Industry bodies (GAPUSPINDO, ISPI, GAPKI) are ideally placed to lead such promotions,” he says.

“The sector must also look to develop and support credible industry advocates for cattle breeding in palm plantations (SISKA). It will likely take a number of key players in the oil palm industry to adopt the SISKA model before it reaches a tipping point and others follow.”

The development of a prosperous cattle breeding sector also requires a more conducive regulatory environment, one that delivers financial incentives to invest or a more market-regulated price for beef.  

Other areas to address include shortfalls in competent and experienced breeding managers and stockpeople, vaccines and quality pasture seeds, and quality shipping services for inter-island trade. There are also limited professional laboratories to analyse the nutritional value of stock feed

“These issues may gradually be addressed once a critical mass of cattle breeding operations are up and running,” Mr Boon says. “Before then, immediate support may be needed to encourage more risk-averse investors to enter the industry.”



One of the key goals of Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture is to increase breeder cattle numbers within oil palm plantations, pursuing the benefits of the SISKA model. They intend to achieve this by collaborating with the private sector to develop commercial-scale and professionally managed cattle breeding operations, including the integration of cattle into oil palm plantations.

A presidential instruction on Sustainable Palm Oil also explicitly mentions SISKA as a key activity and the Ministry of Agriculture is working towards adapting relevant regulations to encourage investment.

IACCB has laid a very stable platform to support the Government of Indonesia’s cattle breeding policies and plans. 

The Partnership will continue to build on this platform and on IACCB strengths, most particularly the program’s credibility within industry and government. It aims to do this by expanding the promotional channels that communicate IACCB’s results and tools, by designing a program that actively supports Indonesia’s cattle breeding strategies, and by creating and implementing an industry skills development strategy.  

For more information on the IACCB Program or a copy of the IACCB Activity Completion Report, visit iaccbp.org