CropCow scaling research scoping trip, Sumbawa Island

The CropCow scaling team recently visited several locations in Sumbawa to evaluate their suitability as CropCow research sites.

CropCow team participants in this February 2019 site scoping visit included Professor Dahlanuddin, Dr Anwar Fachry and Dr Moh Taqiuddin from UNRAM; Dr Tanda Panjaitan and Dr Nurul Hilmiati from BPTP-NTB, Associate Professor Julian Prior and Dr Romana Roschinsky from UNE, and CropCow Field Officers Susanti Fitriyani, Moh Adis Saramba, and Mohammed Fauzan.

Objectives and methods

By evaluating potential sites for CropCow scaling research on Sumbawa Island, NTB, the team sought to gain more in-depth knowledge of previous research and scaling activities in each site. Sites evaluated included Bima, Dompu, Sumbawa and West Sumbawa districts.

Meetings with government representatives at provincial and district level were used as an opportunity to introduce the CropCow project to these stakeholders, and to secure their support. Meetings were held with farmer groups, extension staff and other sector actors to provide insights into previously introduced cattle production technologies, the level of adoption and scaling, constraints and barriers, and to provide updated knowledge on current cattle production and marketing challenges and opportunities.

Methods of evaluation included:

  • Assessment of the availability of sub districts and scaling institutions (e.g. available expertise in the Indonesian CropCow team, farmer groups, local extension institutions, banks).

  • Rapid Assessment of the institutional landscape relevant to adoption and scaling research in each candidate district.

  • Analysis of the experiences and candidate technologies/practices for scaling research activities.

  • Engagement with local government stakeholders to secure support for possible collaborations.

As part of the Rapid Assessment in each candidate district, discussions were held with district Dinas Peternakan and Dinas Pertanian, extension offices, and bank representatives. The team also visited a wide range of local farmer groups in each district to collect data on previous adoption and scaling activities, and likely opportunities in these areas.

Lang Glampok farmer group, Desa Baru villages, West Sumbawa.  Photo: Romana Roschinsky

Lang Glampok farmer group, Desa Baru villages, West Sumbawa. Photo: Romana Roschinsky

Observations

UNE’s Dr Romana Roschinsky, a member of the CropCow team visiting Sumbawa Island, noted:

“We observed a number of interesting institutional arrangements in Sumbawa. For example, institutional collaboration between the Livestock and Agriculture Offices in Sumbawa on a program integrating extension on cattle-corn production systems. West Sumbawa district have supported the placement of Community Development Agents as community facilitators which are intended to facilitate information flow and implementation of activities between villages and the district government.”

“In Dompu, the local government has a strong focus on the importance of better integrating crop and cattle production. All of these initiatives have great potential as scaling institutions and research subjects for CropCow adoption and scaling research. The organisation of farmer groups within families and close relatives is also something that is very different to organisational arrangements observed in Lombok.”

The team also observed recent land use changes, most notably wide-scale conversion of former grazing land for crop production. Romana commented that “this trend reinforces the importance of improving integration of cattle and cropping systems in Sumbawa Island.” 

This ‘sea of corn’ is a good example of more recent land use change in Sumbawa which highlights the potential for expanded cattle and crop integration, to maintain and expand beef production on the island.  Photo: Romana Roschinsky

This ‘sea of corn’ is a good example of more recent land use change in Sumbawa which highlights the potential for expanded cattle and crop integration, to maintain and expand beef production on the island. Photo: Romana Roschinsky

Site selection and outcomes

A key outcome of the visit was to select the districts of Dompu, Sumbawa and West Sumbawa as CropCow research sites, to be added to the other NTB sites of North, Central and East Lombok.

Romana Roschinsky considered that the districts selected on Sumbawa Island as CropCow research sites offer the best potential for adoption and scaling research.

“In these districts, a significant level of technological and social innovation is already present as a consequence of previous research activity. These make it possible to demonstrate impact and encourage future adopters.  Furthermore, the institutional actors in these districts have considerable potential to act as scaling institutions.”

Some of the other significant outcomes of this trip included further clarification of the adoption and scaling research approach and strategy (including identifying candidate scaling strategies and models); and developing a detailed workplan and list of roles and responsibilities to guide several months of adoption and scaling research activity for the CropCow team.

Discussions at Banju Urip farmer group, Labangka sub-district.  Photo: Romana Roschinsky

Discussions at Banju Urip farmer group, Labangka sub-district. Photo: Romana Roschinsky