It’s Time to Improve Beef Management!
Thursday, 23 June 2011
The Australian government unexpectedly stopped exporting feeder cattle to Indonesia per June 8, 2011. This was a result of the un-welfare slaughter of Australian cattle in Indonesia.
Some are happy, some are disappointed. Others try to take advantage of the situation for their own profit, either by encouraging uncontrolled import of meat or by steering Australian cattle slaughter to certain slaughterhouses.
Another group tries to open import access for cattle, meat, and offal without considering the risk of infectious animal disease introduction, such as mad cow disease or foot and mouth disease.
Outside the groups mentioned above, some are concerned the current development will start the collapse of domestic cattle industry. With import stopped, the local cattle population could face unstoppable decline in the future. In consequence, Indonesia could rely 100% on other countries for its meat supply.
Interestingly, all groups with their different point of views all say that we should gain the wisdom of the Australian government’s decision. Wisdom for whom?
Our national cattle problems could not be detached from the government’s failure in developing our domestic cattle industry.
General Chairman of the Indonesian Cattle and Water Buffalo Farmer Association, Teguh Boediyana, strongly states that the failure of local cattle farming is because of the government’s own hindering policies.
Teguh said the government, in this case the Ministry of Agriculture, who is supposed to be the main force behind livestock development, it its policies are actually cornering local cattle farms. This phenomenon has been observed in the last 2 government periods.
The political will do develop local cattle farms, which during the New Orders was voiced through Ga-UNG Lampung, is no longer heard. Ga-UNG Lampung places local farms as the backbone, feeder cattle import as the support, and meat import as the connector/filler.
Chairman of the National Beef Board, Suhadji, said through Ga-UNG Lampung, which was resulted from an agreement between stakeholders and the government in 1995, local cattle farms were given the main position. Development of these farms was prioritized.
By referring to this political will, the importation policy during the New Order was tailored. In result, beef supply was prioritized from local cattle. People were encouraged to farm cattle with various forms of incentives.
Import policies were made by considering the aspects of creating job opportunities and increased value, where feeder cattle import was prioritized and reached 17 percent. Beef import only contributed 5 percent.
What is the government doing now? Offal import is opened and feeder cattle are sold without fattening. In 2010, beef and offal import accounted for 120,000 tons. Consequently, local cattle price plummeted and people no longer want to farm cattle. It is time for the government to improve. (HERMAS E PRABOWO).
Source : Kompas