Due to a growing population, higher incomes per capita and urbanization beef consumption is growing in Indonesia. This is a positive development, as it contributes to a healthy diet and so the eradication of malnourishment. The goal of this study was to investigate the potential to increase beef production in the province of East Java.
This was done by analysing growth performance along the value chain. The value chain is described by breeders, feeders and fatteners (feedlots). Breeders reared female cattle and calves up to around 250 kg (reached at approximately one year of age) and owned on average 2.7 ± 0.23 cattle. Constraints for production were related to feed and water quality and quantity. Breeders were found to mainly feed forages, of which quality is known to be low. Moreover, none of the breeders provided their cattle with ad-libitum drinking water. Another constraint was that reproductive cows were sometimes sold when beef prices were high, leading to low potential to increase stock numbers over time. Suboptimal circumstances led to low growth of calves, so a yield gap was found between the actual and potential production as observed in this study. Average number of services per conception was found to be 1.6 ± 0.11 and the average intercalving interval was found to be 15.2 ± 1.01 months.
Feeders observed in this study were rather final phase fatteners. They owned on average 2.7 ± 0.52 crossbred bulls. Average weight of bulls measured at the feeders was 429 ± 19.8 kg and average age was estimated to be 927 ± 62.3 days. Most feeders fed soybean-waste in an intensive feeding system. Therefore bulls were expected to show compensatory growth, compensating for suboptimal growth during earlier life. One problem observed was mortality of bulls, caused by a change in diet. Moreover a lack of capital could be a constraint for households to rear feeder cattle. The price to purchase a bull at this link of the chain was found to vary around 18-20 million IDR.
Besides small scale fattening, fattening also occurred at large feedlots. Feedlots are high input and high output systems. Bulls were purchased at an average weight of 439 ± 6.4 kg and an age of 970 ± 35.6 days. Average slaughter weight was found to be 538 ± 9.9 kg and slaughter age was 1145 ± 57.4 days. Bulls stayed on average 93 ± 5.7 days at the feedlot. Average daily gain was found to be > 1 kg for bulls up to 4 years of age. Bulls thus had the genetic potential to grow well.
This indicates that eliminating constraints along the value chain would raise average daily growth of cattle in earlier life, lowering the average slaughter age. However, the need to lower slaughter age can be argued. First of all, the breeders and feeders require low external input to rear cattle. Raising of cattle is an efficient way to convert crop-residues and agricultural by-products in a high quality product and obtain some extra income. To increase production higher input is required changing the current systems. Secondly, breeders are at the basis of the beef value chain. Faster rearing bulls up to slaughter weight would only be effective if more calves were available.
Student: JJM Boekhorst
Supervisor: dr ir S Oosting