Current Research Activities
The Government of Indonesia sees the integration of cattle with oil palm and crops as a means for increasing the cattle population and beef production in Indonesia. In response, two projects have been developed to strengthen Indonesia's community-based beef sector and to improve the livelihoods of smallholder cattle producers.
Organic vegetable farm near Huế
Establishing farmer groups to be involved in participatory crop benchmarking will provide an effective research and extension framework to improve crop productivity and farm household profitability. In addition, this project aims to develop a culture of participatory research and extension among farmers, DoA and DAR participants and will monitor the effectiveness of this approach. The project will address gender issues through advancing the involvement of women in decision making affecting crop production.
Part of a themed ACIAR project to address agriculture and fisheries in Myanmar.
The objectives of the project are to;
- Develop new, high-yielding varieties of pigeonpea, groundnut and chickpea and green and black gram through genetic improvement with emphasis on resistance/tolerance to biotic stresses to link with institutional and community-based seed production and distribution
- Improve nutrient management of the legume-based farming systems, particularly phosphorus, nitrogen, boron, sulphur, potassium and zinc, using both mineral and organic sources, including rhizobial inoculants
- Improve the agronomic management of the legume-based systems through crop benchmarking with farmers to increase efficiency of water use and effectively integrate new high-yielding varieties and pest, disease and nutrient management
- Enhance capacity for RD&E in the relevant agencies in Myanmar through effective implementation of the collaborative ACIAR project model and through targeted training, extension and capacity building activities
Cultivating to plant groundnut (left); sesame crop with todi palms and mixed crops in the background (right)
Due for completion in 2017
There is increasing demand for high-end consistent quality of beef into the Urban markets in Cambodia and southern Vietnam. At present market access for Cambodian cattle is constrained by a number of factors including growing requirements for local and international biosecurity, lack of market information and lack of capability to produce the required quality and quantity of product.
This 4 year project (ACIAR Project AH-2010-046) aims to support the development of a market chain that encourages smallholders in South East Cambodia to access the Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap markets. The project will work with selected traders in Kampong Cham and Pursat provinces and their individual clients and communities. The project will work directly with medium size traders (trading 30-50 cattle per day) in Market Chain Development Groups (MCDGs) and their respective collectors, farmers, depot operators and retailers. The project will trial the development of a 'clean market chain' whereby branded cattle from SE Cambodia will be sold for premium prices in urban supermarkets.
Underpinning this strategy is the principle that sustainable market chains ensure that all stakeholders in the market chain have economic incentives to work with smallholders to improve management of biosecurity and production.
In the first two years the project will develop a generic methodology for analysing market chains, identify present limitations to smallholder involvement in developing markets, and identify potential interventions. In the third and fourth years agreed interventions for improved animal health, biosecurity, animal production and market chains will be tested and evaluated.
Due for completion in 2017
Dr Fran Cowley
- Identify and explore potential for intensification, processing and marketing opportunities in NW Cambodia through an understanding of the livelihood and operating environment of current and alternative whole-farm crop-cattle production systems.
- Review current soil status with regard to degradation under the range of existing farming systems and identify crop-cattle management options that meet economic, social and environmental goals in NW Cambodia.
- Evaluate opportunities and technologies for Cambodian crop-cattle production systems in the context of declining soil fertility in partnership with 200 focus households.
- Assess and develop options for adaptation to climate variability and climate change for crop-cattle farming systems with 200 focus households in NW Cambodia and with existing CMA farmer groups in CW & NW NSW, Australia.
Due for completion in 2016
Dr Fran Cowley
Training and research into age-growth, spawning and habitat use in key cichlid and catfish species along the Okavango River system, northern Botswana.
University of Botswana
Dr Glenn Wilson
Current Training Activities
This course is funded by the Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector under the Australia Awards program.
The 2015 Course
Thirty Indonesian cattle industry professionals participated in the Animal Husbandry and Cattle Production short course held between April 11th and May 23rd, 2015. The course was run by the University of New England (UNE) in collaboration with the Queensland Agricultural Training College (QATC).
The participants came from 15 provinces across Indonesia and included representatives from smallholder systems, state run animal production facilities, and large commercial enterprises. They spent 6 weeks in Australia working and interacting with a wide range of commercial enterprises, industry bodies, service providers and other stakeholders involved in the Australian cattle industry.
Formal training sessions were delivered by UNE experts as well as staff from Meat and Livestock Australia, Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, the Australian Agricultural Company; Rangers Valley Feedlot; the North Australian Pastoral Company, and a variety of other organisations.
Australian Awards Indonesia: Short Course Award
Professor John Gibson
Prof. John Gibson (UNE) and Prof. Ronny Noor (Education and Cultural Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy), with Indonesian beef industry participants Muhammad Futchurozi from PT Santosa Agrindo Feedlot Company, left, and Irfan, Farmers Group Manager, Banten province, right (photo by Matt Cawood, The Land, Fairfax Media)
Khoirul Murtadlo using low stress handling techniques while working cattle in the yards at Longreach Pastoral College (photo by UNE)
Trainees at Longreach Pastoral College (photo by UNE)
UNE’s Dr Fran Cowley at Tullimba Feedlot explaining key components of feedlot rations (photo by UNE)