Home' Partners : Partners: Development partnerships with Indonesia Contents PARTNERS ISSUE FOUR 2015
nutrition of cows is a major contributing factor.
With traditional approaches, calves are unable to
get all the nutrients they need as their mothers
(dams) are underfed. The calves struggle for
nutrients and have poor growth rates.
Past ACIAR research has identified under-
nutrition in calves during their first six months as
a contributor to lowered body weight throughout
their lives. Feeding supplements to dams did not
alleviate this issue.
The solution was to wean calves earlier, feed
available supplements to the calves and reduce
the demand on cows nursing their young.
Mortality rates were significantly reduced and in
many areas dropped from 33% to zero.
A project to improve calf survival in West
Timor villages, led by Dr Gusti Jelantik, also had
promising results. The project was conducted
entirely on smallholder farms, with the overall
objective of developing methods of reducing
The project team introduced a feed
supplement consisting of grass hay and
concentrate (rice bran, cornmeal, leucaena
legume leaf and fish meal) formulated to contain
18% crude protein. This supplement was given to
calves in the morning while confined to calf pens.
Dr Jelantik highlighted that “when the project
started, we had calf mortality rates of more than
30%,” and “at the conclusion of the project, and
after providing feed supplements to calves, we
reduced that rate to 2%.”
In Oefafi village in West Timor, cattle rearing
is now an important income earner. The
combination of feeds, early weaning and fattening
of calves has been adopted and is helping to
improve villagers’ lives.
FEEDING FOR BREEDING
Dr Dahlanuddin is part of a team working to
replicate this success in several low-input cattle
production systems across eastern Indonesia.
“ The project looks at increasing the calving rate,
reducing mortality and increasing the growth rate
of the cows,” he says.
One of the challenges in low-input systems is
returning dams to a suitable condition to conceive
again. The lower the available feed resources, the
longer the time taken. For nursing dams that time
usually begins once calves are weaned.
Earlier weaning has a dual effect: allowing
cows to eat to recover condition without diverting
that nutrition to milk production and accelerating
the time until a cow’s individual condition is
suitable for conception. When the latter occurs
within a year, the goal of one calf per cow per year
can be reached.
The idea of 3S has taken hold in villages where
ACIAR projects have been successful because
farmers are quick to realise the strength of the
combined approach the program introduces.
A change in mindset means many smallholder
farmers in Indonesia are now viewing cattle as
far more than a safety net or living bank, but
as a viable business opportunity, especially in
supplying the growing market for beef.
For smallholders such as Murdah, the benefits
are tangible: income to fund children’s education,
housing, access to health services and debt
PROJECTS CONTRIBUTING TO ACIAR’S CATTLE PRODUCTIVITY WORK:
n LPS/2014/022: Heifer-calf and fattening strategies—Indonesia
n LPS/2013/021: Straw cow 2: Indonesia
n LPS/2012/064: Integrating herbaceous forage legumes into crop and livestock systems in East Nusa Tenggara,
n LPS/2008/054: Improving smallholder cattle fattening systems based on forage tree legume diets in eastern
Indonesia and northern Australia
n LPS/2008/038: Improving reproductive performance of cows and performance of fattening cattle in low input
systems of Indonesia and northern Australia
n LPS/2006/003: Integrating forage legumes into the maize cropping systems of West Timor
n LPS/2006/005: Evaluating strategies to improve calf survival in West Timor villages
n LPS/2004/005: Improving smallholder crop-livestock systems in eastern Indonesia
n LPS/2004/023: Strategies to increase growth of the weaned Bali calf
OUR INDONESIAN PARTNERS:
n Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, East Nusa Tenggara,
Lampung, Nusa Tenggara Barat, South Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi
n Beef Cattle Research Institute
n Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Central Lombok District
n Haluoleo University
n Hasanuddin University
n Indonesian Centre for Animal Research and Development
n Tadulako University
n University of Mataram
n University of Nusa Cendana
n CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
n University of Queensland
Idris, treasurer for the
Genggelang Group of farmers.
repayment. For others, such as Dr Jelatnik, there
is a pride in delivering those benefits. They are
playing a role in the transformation of the rural
economies of Indonesia, opening the way to a
better future for many. n
For further information, please contact ACIAR research
program manager for livestock production systems:
Dr Werner Stür, firstname.lastname@example.org
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