Livestock Systems

Profitable feeding strategies for smallholder cattle in Indonesia

Project code
AUD 1,800,088
Research program manager
Dr Anna Okello
Project leader
Dennis Poppi
Commissioned organisation
The University of Queensland
JAN 2017
JUN 2021
Project status
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This project aimed to improve the profitability of beef cattle production of small-scale beef producers in Indonesia through the development of simple cost-effective feed rations. 

The Indonesian Government has placed a high priority on self-sufficiency in beef production where domestic beef supply is unable to meet consumer demand. 

Most cattle are raised by 4.2 million smallholder farmers and landless producers, with an increasing number of small- to medium-scale feedlots. The priority is to increase this number, improve reproductive efficiency and improve the growth and fattening of cattle. 

Although there is substantial trade in cattle feed, cattle growth rates are low. Diets are based on the cheapest available feed. This is mainly due to a poor understanding of the benefits of improved diets (for increased growth rates and decreased cost per weight gain), aversion to risk and a lack of tools to formulate a simple diet based on nutritional principles. There is a need to customise diets for different regions in Indonesia as each has a different range of feed resources, both on-farm and purchased feeds.

Project outcomes

  • Improved reproduction and growth of cattle.
  • Economic and other benefits to smallholders, landless cattle producers and small- to medium-scale feedlots.
  • Increased household incomes.
  • Increased availability of quality cattle to meet domestic supply.
  • Increased capacity for a new generation of ruminant nutritionists to continue the development of local cattle production systems.
  • Potential for off-farm employment opportunities through implementation of commercial feed enterprises. 
Key partners
Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology
Balai Pengkajian Teknologi Pertanian (BPTP) Central Sulawesi
Balai Pengkajian Teknologi Pertanian (BPTP) NTB
Balai Pengkajian Teknologi Pertanian (BPTP). Malang East Java
Balai Pengkajian Teknologi Pertanian Yogyakarta
Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries
Northern Territory
University of Brawijaya
University of Gadjah Mada
University of Jember
University of Mataram
University of Queensland
University of Tadulako
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet LPS/2013/021

Explore the latest content for this project 

Farmers using beef app
Livestock profits on the ‘upp’ thanks to feed app

Indonesian beef farmers can now calculate a nutritious and cost-effective ration for their livestock in the palm of their hand. And for the early adopters of this technology, the resulting increase in livestock weight gain is paying financial dividends.