As with their prior visit to Lombok, the team sought to identify opportunities to improve market linkages and develop new markets. Meetings were held with representatives of more than twelve farmer groups in two districts in Sumbawa, as well as a meeting with Dinas Livestock and Animal Health.
In addition to identifying market chains research priorities and potential research topics in Lombok and across NTB as a whole, sub-projects specific to Sumbawa were discussed by the team and planned in detail:
Examining the feasibility of developing a market for fresh and processed leucaena and sesbania. In this sub-project, the CropCow market chains team will investigate the market for animal feeds in Sumbawa, evaluating the current demand and supply as well as cost competitiveness of a number of feed sources (including leucaena, native grasses, improved grasses, crop residues, and agricultural by-products). Where market opportunities appear to exist, the team will build the business skills of farmers and assist their testing of business models and marketing strategies to ensure viable business ventures are established. This will include evaluating the costs associated with establishing a leucaena farm, producing leucaena or sesbania, marketing it in various forms, and determining the price farmers may be willing to pay.
Developing farmer learning and trading networks using social media. Information shortfalls regarding availability of feeder cattle in Sumbawa appear to stem from insufficient social connection in Sumbawa between smallholder breeding farms (potential suppliers of feeder cattle) and those running cattle fattening operations. This sub-project would explore opportunities to link these groups more closely together, for example through cross-visits, or social networking applications such as WhatsApp.
In addition to these Sumbawa-specific sub-projects, the team have developed several other NTB-wide sub-projects that will encompass both Lombok and Sumbawa islands:
Economic analysis to assess and compare returns from different production systems (e.g. most beneficial cattle breeds based on relative returns; breeding vs fattening; intensive (cut and carry) vs extensive (grazing); production scale comparisons; and comparison across regions).
Understand the supply chain, provision and costs of AI services, given a range of services (and costs) were identified during scoping visits.
Training in marketing and provision of market information, to allow smallholders to make better informed and more timely production and marketing decisions and improve profitability, rather than choosing to sell simply on a more ad hoc basis, for example to meet cash needs.