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ISSUE FOUR 2015 PARTNERS
SATU INDUK SATU ANAK
SATU TAHUN – THE THREE
‘S’ APPROACH TO CATTLE
Smallholder enterprises are vital to increasing beef production in Indonesia and
they are receiving assistance through a research program that addresses the constraints
farmers face in realising the industry’s potential
BY PAUL JONES AND WARREN PAGE
ne calf per cow per year. This simple
goal highlights both the challenge
and the possibility to lift cattle
production in Indonesia. Indonesia’s
cattle producers are largely smallholder farmers
who see their cattle as a financial safety net. When
times are tough and household needs are great,
cattle are sold for income. Under this traditional
approach, one calf is born every 18 to 24 months.
Growing and maintaining cattle demands feed
resources that are not widely available, particularly
to poor farmers. So cattle are not considered
profitable by many smallholders.
Yet, beef demand in Indonesia is increasing
significantly due to a growing urban middle class.
A McKinsey report—The archipelago economy:
Unleashing Indonesia’s potential—estimates that by
2030 the consuming class will swell by 90 million
people to 135 million.
The potential for growth in this market is
significant. Demand for beef is growing at
4% a year and in the current Indonesian diet
each person consumes about two kilograms of
beef a year. Domestic demand therefore
presents enormous opportunities for poor
Indonesian farming communities to improve
their own income and living standards by
expanding and intensifying traditionally meagre
In rural areas such as the village of Genggelang,
North Lombok, cattle numbers had been
dropping due to poor farmers selling their cattle
for short-term income. This left them with no
cattle for the long term, nor a base on which to
build a profitable industry.
Murdah is the secretary of the Ngiring Datu
farmers group and, like many farmers in Lombok,
did not realise that cattle could bring more
profit and better living conditions for the
Murdah has been participating in an ACIAR
project working to improve reproductive
performance of cows and to develop improved
fattening regimes for Bali cattle, which comprise
one-third of the national herd. The faster cattle can
be fattened, the sooner they can be sold. Fatter
cows are healthier and more likely to conceive
more often. “ The biggest advantage with this
project is now we have healthy calves every year,”
Murdah says. “ We have more income and more
cattle. The village uses the money to send our
children to school, build and repair our houses
and we can buy more cattle.”
The project is one of a program, extending
back two decades, between the Indonesian
Government and ACIAR. The heart of the program
lies in lifting cattle production via a series of
integrated projects, focusing on reproductive
performance and improved feeding systems.
Throughout the cattle program’s two-decade
life span, project partners from Indonesia and
Australia have identified a range of approaches to
deliver resilient, low-labour-intensity solutions that
result in cattle using high-quality and sustainable
livestock feed sources.
The key component running through the
program has been the idea of increasing cattle
production by a calf for each cow every year.
The Bahasa version—Satu Induk Satu Anak Satu
Tahun—literally means “One Cow One Calf One
Year” and is often referred to as the three Ss, or
3S. Breaking down the components needed to
achieve 3S reveals the key challenges: improving
the condition of cows, enhancing the chances of
conception each year and combating calf mortality.
REDUCING MORTALITY RATES
In the small village of Genggelang, Dr Dahlanuddin
looks over newborn calves. Dr Dahlanuddin and his
fellow project team members have been working to
ensure these calves have the best chance of survival.
Calf mortality remains a major constraint in the
lowered levels of cattle productivity in Indonesia.
Dr Dahlanuddin is working with Murdah and
his fellow farmers from the Ngiring Datu farmers
group to lift productivity throughout the cattle
production system. While there are high levels of
calf mortality, farmers remain hesitant to devoting
labour and resources to cattle production. Poor
In West Timor, Indonesia, maize is a major component of the traditional food resource; but, yields are poor due to inadequate crop nutrition and crop husbandry, and
variable climate. This project will evaluate forage legumes for integration into maize cropping and assess their potential as dry season fodder to lift animal production.
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