PhD project by Titis Apdini. The Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia developed a policy to increase herd size from 2 to 5 cows per farm. Increasing herd size on smallholder farms to boost milk production has a negative impact on the environment. This study aims to identify improved feeding practices to reduce GHG emissions from smallholder dairy farms in Indonesia
Milk production in Indonesia has increased from 29,300 tonnes in 1970 to 905,533 tonnes in 2010. However, the current milk yield cannot meet the national demand. Therefore, the government of Indonesia, has set a target to reach a national milk production level of 40% of the total demand by 2020. To realise this target, the Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia developed a policy to increase herd size from 2 to 5 cows per farm. Increasing herd size on smallholder farms to boost milk production has a negative impact on the environment, because dairy production contributes to ecological issues such as climate change, land use, water use and pollution, and biodiversity loss. Among those issues, climate change is one of the major issues to be addressed. Climate change occurs due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. The dairy sector contributes to those increasing levels by the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), through various processes, such as feed production and utilisation (i.e., enteric fermentation). Hence, improving feeding practices offers potential to reduce the emission of GHGs. To evaluate the impact of improved feeding practices, a chain level approach is required in order to avoid pollution swapping. In addition, the impact on land use, including food-feed competition, needs to be considered to contribute to improving nutrition security of the human population.
This study aims to identify improved feeding practices to reduce GHG emissions from smallholder dairy farms in Indonesia, and consists of two phases: assessing the current situation and evaluating the impact of improved feeding practices. The emission of GHGs will be evaluated using life cycle assessment, including all stages from cradle-to-farm gate. During the first phase, farm data will be collected on 32 farms, representing four types of feeding practices, to gain insight into the current situation. Farm data such as herd structure, dietary composition, on-farm feed production, and manure management will be collected and used to evaluate the environmental impact in the reference situation. This reference situation will be used to evaluate the impact of improved feeding practices by means of a scenario study. In the last stage of this study the economic consequences, and social challenges related to the adoption of improved feeding practices will be evaluated. To this end, the following specific objectives have been formulated:
1. Quantifying GHG emissions and land use (including feed-food competition) related to smallholder dairy production systems in Lembang, Indonesia.
2. Selecting a simple and accurate method to predict feed intake on smallholder dairy farms.
3. Analysing current feeding practices in relation to milk yield and the impact on GHG emissions.
4. Evaluating improved feeding practices on GHG emissions, land use, and economic performance.
5. Observing the participation of farmers to adopt the improved feeding practices.