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Profitable feeding strategies for smallholder cattle in Indonesia

This project aims to make small-scale beef cattle production more profitable through developing simple cost-effective feed rations.
The Indonesian government want to increase the number and improve the reproductive efficiency of breeding cows and improve the growth and fattening of cattle. Livestock production accounts for about 30% of agricultural GDP in Indonesia's eastern provinces. Cattle in villages and in small- to medium-scale feedlots grow slowly, because they eat the cheapest available feed rather than the most cost-effective or feed efficient food. Farmers do not understand that improved diets increase growth rates and decrease cost/weight gain; are averse to risk; and lack tools to formulate a simple diet based on nutritional principles. Diets must be customised for different regions, as each region has different feed resources - both on farm and purchased feeds.
The project will benefit smallholders, landless cattle producers and small-medium scale feedlots by improving reproduction and growth of cattle. Growth rates can be doubled and profit from cattle production increased by 53%. At the national level, improved reproductive performance and higher growth rates will improve the number and quality of cattle available for slaughter. The project will also train ruminant nutritionists across Indonesia to develop local cattle production systems.