Early weaning of Bali calves at six months of age increases herd reproductive efficiency and offers beef smallholders an opportunity to increase productivity and cash flow. This report assesses numerous feeding strategies aimed at increasing the growth rate of early weaned Bali calves in Sulawesi Tengah, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara. Results demonstrate that simple feeding strategies available to farmers could increase growth rates from 0.1-0.2kg/d to over 0.4kg/d by including high protein feeds such a leucaena, sesbania or copra meal. The economic impacts of enhanced productivity and social implications from reduced labour inputs and increased cash flow are discussed. Farmer involvement in research activities proved beneficial in facilitating adoption. The authors identify several areas for future work relating to management of feed supplies, assessment of new forages, low input feeding strategies, growth of early weaned Bali calves and an extension program highlighting the importance of nutrition. The report also discusses different strategies for increasing microbial crude protein, and reports on capacity building of Indonesian scientists through integration of Australian and Indonesian research groups.
Maize farmers in East Nusa Tenggara have been slow to adopt new cultivation technologies despite several initiatives by the Indonesian government. A key challenge for farmers is access to the required inputs—improved varieties, fertilizer and pesticides. This research aimed to identify a suitable agribusiness model for subsistence/semi-commercial maize farmers to help address their challenges in using new technologies. Research was conducted with three farmer groups in South Timor Tengah district in 2007-2008. Innovations tested were both technological (improved varieties, plant spacing, fertilizer and seed production techniques) and institutional (strengthening farmer group capital, management of input supply and seed production). The initiative involved establishing a village-level technology clinic managed by extension workers and farmer groups, which proved useful in providing agricultural information to farmers and facilitating input supply from the district/provincial level. Farmers can take inputs on credit and repay them in kind after harvest. The clinic also processes maize, sells it in the early rainy season and helps build a village maize seed unit. This strategy shows promise in ensuring the continuity of maize farming and has potential to be extended to other villages.
Cashew is a major source of income for most farmers on the island of Flores. This article details the experience of developing organic cashew nut production in four villages in Flores based on a joint project between VECO Indonesia and Swisscontact. The project aimed to help farmers optimize the potential for cashew nuts through organic certification while maintaining a low input system of production. The article describes how the two international NGOs collaborated with two Indonesian NGOs—Bangwita and YMTM—to enhance the capacity of selected farmers' groups to add value to their produce. Organic certification was viewed not only as a means of securing better markets, but also as a means to improve product quality in the long term. As a result of the project, all four participating farmers' groups secured international organic certification. Further achievements include farmer's enhanced understanding of the certification process and required documentation, as well as sustainable land management practices. The author notes that the process of linking to the market, however, remains a challenge.
Flores cocoa production is characterised by low productivity and poor quality. This report describes the use of a value chain approach to design interventions for the Flores cocoa industry as part of a training program for Swisscontact LED-NTT staff. The report details the cocoa value chain in Indonesia and globally as well as Flores cocoa production and the local value chain. The methodology involved interviews with value chain participants from producers to national processors and exporters to identify constraints and opportunities, and field visits to assess possible interventions. The report outlines suggested interventions to address constraints, focused on improving farmer knowledge, skills and access to technology for improved practices, production and quality. Others relate to finance, market linkages, the business environment and industry advocacy. The paper concludes with several recommendations for implementation—focused pilot areas, sourcing of resources, change agents and partners for intervention, public and private sector support—and staff involvement.
This paper reviews the current status of Bali cattle in Indonesia based on national and regional statistical records and research and subjective information from government and university officers and farming groups in the regions where Bali cattle are produced. The research found that Bali cattle are the predominant beef cattle in the Eastern Islands of Indonesia, amounting to around 80 per cent of the total 2.95 million Bali cattle in the country. Overall numbers have declined in three of the last four years, which is believed to be a long-term trend. The annual calving rate was found to be a moderate 52-67 per cent, but calf mortality varied from 8 to 48 per cent, which is very high. The paper concludes that there are opportunities for improving the declining population of Bali cattle by applying strategies that reduce calf mortalities, reduce the slaughter of productive cows, prepare and retain appropriate bulls in the herd, and improve the genetic base towards animals that grow and survive better than at present.
Reduced productivity and increased demand for soybean products has increased dependency on soybean imports and support for tariffs. This study involved a desk top analysis and interviews with key stakeholders (soybean farmers, traders, and government officials) in Blitar, East Java, to develop farm level production budgets based on traditional and improved production technology (improved seed and water control, monoculture and multi-cropping). The Policy Analysis Matrix was used to analyse the competitiveness of different soybean cropping systems, the influence of public investment and the impact of price fluctuations resulting from government policy. Results indicate that all methods of soybean production are both privately and socially profitable. The authors thus conclude that protectionist policies are unnecessary and that Blitar soybean production is competitive with imported soybean. Investments in technology provided greater profits than traditional soybean production while improved technology, multi-cropping and non-irrigated land provided the highest private and social benefits. The authors recommend that any policy should promote and distribute welfare amongst all soybean chain stakeholders.
Demand for soybean in Indonesia currently exceeds supply. Based on a review of recent literature, Susilowati et al. analyse the decline in Indonesia's soybean and discuss efforts to ensure its future supply. Among the solutions proposed in this review are increasing production and substitution power (on imports) of domestic soybeans through rules and mechanisms of control over the existing trade system, and increasing the role of trade agencies and/or cooperatives such as KOPTI in the trade system. The authors highlight the important role of KOPTI in the soybean supply chain, but note the need for it to become more resilient to market conditions. Given the limited understanding of the institutional aspects and resilience of its businesses, further research is required to suggest practical solutions to strengthen KOPTI's role in the supply of soybean. While the scope of this literature review is limited, it presents a useful overview of key studies (mostly in Bahasa) on soybean in Indonesia, which is useful for practitioners engaged in value chain research on this important protein-rich commodity.
This study explores the impact of new cassava processors in Sukadana, East Lampung district in Lampung province on the production and prices of cassava in the area. A survey of eighty cassava farmers was carried out to explore their relationships with processors, their production cost structures and their cultivation practices. The study found that harvesting age was a critical factor to determine the cassava yield and price in the study area. Three types of farmers were observed, namely farmers collaborating with new external processors (foreign food companies), farmers collaborating with local processors and farmers who have no close relationships with processors. The technical support provided by the emerging processing companies was found to have a positive impact in plant management. It is expected that the increasing demand for cassava induced by biofuel production will attract more companies to the processing business and increase the companies' investment in supporting activities for farmers. This, in return, would contribute to farmers' welfare through improved profit of cassava production.
This paper assesses the economic performance of mungbean in relation to productivity of the existing mungbean cultivar (Fore Belu) and management practices of local farmers. The research reveals that average mungbean productivity in the sample villages is 0.35 ton/ha, well below the national average of 0.75 ton/ha. This is largely due to local farmers using the low-yield Fore Belu cultivar. It also shows that the Sriti cultivar produces the highest gross margin compared to other varieties. According to the authors, several issues need to be addressed to improve the productivity and profitability of mungbean growers in West Timor, namely timely access to good quality seed, improvement of varieties and management practices, production costs and industry partnership. Limited availability of seed at the time of planting (wet season) is highlighted as a major concern and attributed to the fact that the largest part of production is consumed and sold to earn cash income during the harvest season. While this research provides valuable insights into the crucial issues surrounding productivity improvements, it does not indicate the types of solutions required to address them, which is restrictive given the limited literature on this commodity.
This article examines pest control and production management methods used by farmers in Sulawesi to improve cocoa bean quality and increase income from cocoa. Strategies investigated include those directed at increasing the number and size of cocoa pods, those aimed at reducing hosts for pest transmission, two input-intensive approaches, and the alternative of doing nothing beyond harvesting mature cocoa pods. The research also identifies factors correlated with choice of technique by using a multiple outcome model to measure the likelihood of a behavioural response given conditioning factors such as household and farm characteristics. Data was collected in 2005 from 600 households and 915 cocoa fields in one village in Luwu district. The findings suggest that spraying is a profitable management strategy and that modest gains in profit could be realised through greater use of fertiliser, and of both household and hired labour. The authors conclude that average increases in private returns from more intensive cocoa management appears to compensate for higher production costs, but observed extension efforts have not been correlated with higher profits among farmers in the sample.