Jakarta – Indonesia will likely miss its target of 3 million calves born from the artificial insemination of 4 million cows this year, setting back its beef self-sufficiency plans.
Southeast Asia’s largest economy wants to be self-sufficient in beef by 2026 and part of efforts to reach that target is the artificial insemination of cows to help breeders improve their livestock production.
Ketut Diarmita, director general of livestock and animal health at the agriculture ministry told Salaam Gateway only 2.3 million calves have been born this year from the government’s artificial insemination programme (UPSUS SIWAB) that started in February 2017.
“The guidance of the artificial insemination programme is just too general and its success depends on different field conditions in each province and region,” said Diarmita.
He added that the level of fertility of the cows has not been up to expectations.
The ministry expects 3.5 million calves to be born by artificial insemination by the end of April next year.
The 2.3 million calves already born this year are worth 18.51 trillion Indonesian rupiah ($1.24 billion) based on the market rate of 8 million rupiah per animal, estimated Diarmita.
The added value of the artificial insemination programme is relatively high, considering the 1.41 trillion rupiah investment in it.
BREEDER IMPORT TARGETS
The other major national effort towards beef self-sufficiency is the imposition of a 1:5 ratio for breeder to feeder cows, introduced in January 2017.
The government directive that 20 percent of all imported cattle must be for breeding purposes is to build domestic capacity and reduce reliance on Australian imports.
With only seven months left to the May 2019 deadline to meet the 1:5 ratio, it appears likely that none of the 32 licensed importers will reach their breeder targets.
Since the beginning of 2017 until October 28 only 3 percent of the 665,674 Australian cattle imported into Indonesia have been breeders.
“Our demand projection [for domestic consumption of beef] for this year is 600,000 cows equal to 119,000 tons of beef,” said Diarmita.
However, supply is short by around 200,000 heads of cattle.
“The realization of only 400,000 cows equals to 79,000 tons, or just 66 percent, with two months in the year to go,” said the official.
Diarmita said the shortfall of around 40,000 tons of beef will be filled by imports of live cattle as well as fresh meats.
“We remain optimistic that self-sufficiency of beef will be achieved in 2026,” he added.
($1 = 14,954 Indonesian rupiah)
(Reporting by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim email@example.com)
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