During late October and November, 2018, a team of researchers from the CropCow project (representing UNE, BPTP-KalSel and ULM) visited several stakeholders in South Kalimantan (KalSel). The team’s goals were to confirm a site for CropCow research and scaling out activity in this province, to discuss work plans with local members of the market chain and socio-economics research team, and to characterise the beef market chain in KalSel.
Team members involved in the field trip included: Associate Professor Christie Chang (UNE, research coordinator for market chain research); Dr Eni Siti Rohaeni (BPTP-KalSel, provincial coordinator for socio-economic research); Dr Ika Sumantri (ULM, animal nutrition researcher); Dr Nuri Dewi Yanti (ULM, agricultural economics researcher); and Mr A. Hamdan and Mr Sholih Nunjo Had (BPTP-KalSel cattle production researchers).
In the period from 26th October to 1st November, members of the team visited five farmer groups in the Tanah Laut Regency, KalSel. Each group was recommended for its potential contribution to CropCow by local Dinas and BPTP, with input by ULM.
Farmer group leaders were interviewed by the team to determine the group’s production systems, input types and costs, returns on investment from cattle fattening activity, as well as challenges and opportunities relating to business operations and cattle production.
The team also characterised each group’s size and structure, numbers and breeds of cattle, use of cattle as a source of income, crop/s produced and residue usage, market accessibility, adoption practices, training and knowledge requirements, and the roles of women in the cattle production system.
Using this information against the selection criteria, the CropCow team have confirmed the Tanah Laut Regency as the project site for KalSel, applicable to market chain, socio-economics, animal production, scaling out and gender research. Within this site, the team will work with farmer groups in Kuringkit (the Bunga Maswar farmer group; marked red on the map), Banua Tengah (the Tunas Muda farmer group; marked green on the map) and Pulau Sari (the Budidaya farmer group; marked blue on the map).
The animal production and forage research activities will initially focus their work in KalSel with the Budidaya farmer group in Pulau Sari, before expanding out to the other two groups. This is due to this group’s history of successful adoption of related technologies, their motivations to continue to change and improve, and their mix of cropping and cattle production activities.
While in KalSel, the field trip team also spoke to provincial research partners and a number of local stakeholders to characterise the beef market chain. Stakeholder interviews included:
Several meetings with cattle traders (inter-island and local-level) to obtain information on suppliers and customers, prices and volumes, marketing costs, trends and changes in demand and supply of beef, and relevant issues and opportunities.
Discussions with beef retailers at local wet markets.
Discussions with input (supplementary feed) suppliers.
A meeting with the manager of the livestock market in Tanah Laut.
These discussions resulted in a detailed characterisation of the KalSel beef market chain, which has identified areas of concern, opportunities, and areas for future research. The overall goal of CropCow market chain research in KalSel will be first to understand local market chains, and then to improve smallholder farmer linkages with both input and output markets. The field trip was particularly important in laying the groundwork for the first of these objectives.
Provincial research meetings were also held with BPTP-KalSel, Dinas Livestock at Tanah Laut, and collaborating researchers from ULM. Across all three partner agencies, strong support for CropCow’s objectives was evident. A/Prof Christie Chang delivered a seminar to ULM livestock science and agribusiness students, and ULM research staff.
Based on the outcomes of this trip, follow-up market chain activities for KalSel in early 2019 will involve Associate Professor Christie Chang and several of her Indonesian counterparts and colleagues. These activities will seek to address the following objectives:
Holding training workshops in marketing and costing at the three selected research sites.
Interviewing staff from a commercial breeding farm in Tanah Laut to understand feeder cattle supply, and its potential to meet demand for feeder cattle from local smallholders.
Characterising the inter-island trade between KalSel and Sulawesi, and its impact on cattle prices for local farmers.