Indonesia targets to become beef self-sufficient before deadline

  • History is destined to repeat itself in Indonesia’s quest to become self-sufficient in beef, with its current fifth attempt since the 1970s making spluttering progress, according to industry watchers. However, a government official told Salaam Gateway beef self-sufficiency can be attained even before the new 2025 deadline.
  • Indonesia’s latest attempt at a self-sufficient beef industry, initiated by Joko Widodo soon after he was elected president in 2014, got off to a bad start. Having promised self-sufficiency within five years, Jokowi, as he is commonly known, was quickly forced to extend his target to 2025.
  • According to Ministry of Agriculture figures, domestic beef and cattle production shrank 19.7 percent last year compared to 2016 and imports actually rose to 41 percent of national beef consumption from 32 percent the year before. At the same time, domestic demand went down by over 45,000 tonnes—a fall of 7.1 percent.
  • Most recently, the Ministry of Agriculture launched a scheme in February to encourage Indonesian and foreign businesses to invest in livestock production—partly in a bid to reduce the cost to the government of financing its cattle industry.
  • In the end, while the director general of the animal husbandry and health department is bullish, his department has acknowledged in the past that more needs to be done in terms of optimising cattle breeding initiatives, improving the technical ability of its artificial insemination programmes, controlling the number of productive female cattle sent to abattoirs and encouraging the development of cattle integration with plantations and forestry.

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