The aim of the CropCow project is to increase the supply of beef from smallholder farmers in mixed crop and livestock farming systems.

Extensive previous research in East and West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur, NTT; and Nusa Tenggara Barat, NTB) shows that cattle numbers, beef production and farm profitability can be substantially increased for farms that adopt an Integrated Village Management System (IVMS). This system consists of early weaning, bull selection, controlled natural mating and improvements to feeding of weaned calves. However since those earlier projects finished, it is evident that many farmers who had previously adopted IVMS when the projects were active are no longer using the system.

Reasons for adoption and dis-adoption of proven technologies will be investigated in this project, to ensure constraints to adoption are overcome, and more suitable scaling approaches can be developed to ensure adoption and scaling out to new areas in NTB and South Kalimantan (Kalimantan Selatan, KalSel). Complementary to this new research on adoption and scaling out, the project is also undertaking research aimed at linking smallholder farmers with existing and new market chains to increase the competitiveness and profitability of all sectors of the market chains.

Objectives

  1. improve the competitiveness of existing smallholder beef cattle market chains and explore/develop new markets;

  2. increase the weaning and growth rates of cattle by smallholder farmers in mixed crop-cattle systems;

  3. identify and evaluate approaches to improve adaptation, adoption and scaling out of proven production-based approaches, and;

  4. improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in mixed crop-livestock systems.

Our Research

CropCow will conduct research in both NTB and KalSel to understand market chains, develop and assess business models, and identify market opportunities for smallholder farmers. Proven cattle breeding and fattening systems will be refined, adapted and validated in new areas.

Our key research questions include:

  • What opportunities exist to improve efficiency in cattle and beef market chains?

  • How can cattle production and reproduction, and the livelihoods of female and male smallholders, be improved within the constraints and opportunities of crop-based farming systems?

  • What interventions can improve the profitability of cattle and husbandry in a crop-based farming system, and can be readily adopted?

  • How can the uptake of successful cattle production and marketing systems be fostered in different cultural, resource, production and market environments?

  • To what extent and at what scale can the richness of impacts delivered through collective action by farmers at a small scale be achieved without needing a proportionate increase in extension effort?

  • How can the types of impacts delivered through collective action by farmers at a smaller scale be achieved at a larger scale with minimal extension effort?


Download: CropCow Project Outline


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