In January 2019, the CropCow market chains team followed up a late 2018 visit to South Kalimantan (KalSel) with a further visit to conduct farmer training workshops and characterise commercial breeding operations.
To conduct farmer training workshops on marketing principles with farmer groups in KalSel that will collaborate with the CropCow project team.
Conduct key informant interviews and visit a commercial breeding farm to understand its operations, input use and cost structure, and relationship with other stakeholders.
Farmer training workshops
The market chains team, comprising Eni Siti Rohaeni (BPTP KalSel), Nuri Dewi Yanti (ULM), Sholih NH (BPTP KalSel), Ika Sumantri (ULM), A Hamdan (BPTP KalSel) and Christie Chang (UNE) completed two workshops in the Tanah Laut Regency with farmer groups in Pulau Sari and Kuringkit. There were 32 and 39 participants respectively at the two workshops.
At each workshop, the goals of the CropCow project and key results of the October 2018 market chain study (detailed in the previous version of this newsletter) were presented as background information. Research team members then presented on several topics relating to cattle marketing and production, including farming systems and livestock feed resources for smallholder farmers, estimation of cattle value and price, and strategies for improving sale price.
Questions and answer sessions and small group discussions raised a number of important issues associated with seasonality of cattle demand and timing of sales, including: when cash is usually needed by smallholders; when cattle prices tend to be higher or lower, and why; how cattle prices are determined; and why smallholder farmers do or do not use cattle scales.
Local consultation and next steps
The team interviewed several inter-island cattle traders, staff from the quarantine office, and visited several cattle production sites to better understand the demand and supply for both beef and cattle in KalSel.
Site visits included corn production areas, swamp lands, and cattle grazing. The market chains team also visited the PT CAP BUMP (farmer-owned enterprise), a commercial breeding farm in Tanah Laut Regency, to understand its operations, input use and cost structure, and relationship with other stakeholders including the IACCB (Indonesia-Australia Commercial Cattle Breeding program).
The team discovered that cattle production was a key component of the farming systems found in the two locations of Pulau Sari and Kuringkit, while other systems included oil palm, corn, rice, rubber, and horticulture. Many of these have significant potential to be used in their residual form as a source of additional cattle feed, depending on their quantity, quality, and availability at different times of the year.
These visits also allowed the team to develop a more detailed understanding of the KalSel beef and cattle trade, including: estimated quantities of cattle imported into KalSel from other provinces (thought to be approximately 95% of provincial needs, with the remaining 5% produced within the province); yield of carcasses and issues faced by local butchers; and estimated costs and returns from cattle fattening in KalSel.
Areas for further research for the team include understanding the roles of women and issues they face in cattle production and marketing; influence of ethnic composition and other socio-cultural factors; a comparative cost-benefit study of fattening Bali cattle vs other breeds; and further data collection on shipping and slaughter.