The integration of cattle breeding in the area of palm plantations has turned out to be profitable from a commercial and environmental perspective.
This message was conveyed in an online discussion ‘Initiating Oil Palm – Cattle Breeding Business in Papua', held on 25 March 2021 involving various stakeholders from Papua.
The discussion, a collaborative action between Universitas Papua, the Provincial Government of West Papua, Indonesia - Australia Red Meat Cattle Partnership, supported by UNDP SPOI, aims to elaborate on the potential for oil-cattle integration efforts in Papua.
Integrated oil palm and cattle production has been introduced by the Government of Indonesia to businesses actors in plantation and livestock sector since more than a decade ago.
Through Ministry of Agriculture, the government has issued a regulatory instrument to support the implementation of integrated oil palm-cattle production, namely the Minister of Agriculture Regulation Number 105 of 2014 on the Integration of Oil Palm Plantation with Beef Cattle Business.
The regulation has been further followed by the Presidential Instruction Number 6 of 2019 about the National Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil (NAP SPO) for 2019-2024, which includes integrated oil palm and cattle production as one of the priority activities.
The implementation of integrated oil palm and cattle production is also mentioned as one of the government's strategies to increase livestock population, along with SIKOMANDAN, a term for national program for cattle and buffalo commodity.
There is quite a big potential for entrepreneurs and communities in Papua to develop integration of oil palm and cattle production, with 169,525 ha of oil palm plantations and cattle population that ranks second for red meat production in Papua.
The integration of oil palm - cattle production system always needs to be developed by taking into account the principles of sustainability, putting balance between social, economic and environmental aspects.
This message conveyed by Dedi Junaedi of Ministry of Agriculture, as the Chairperson of NAP SPO Implementation Secretariat Team, in his remarks.
"We hope that the development of integrated oil palm and cattle production in Papua shall be done through sustainable practices," he said.
The online discussion is expected to be followed up with various training and capacity building activities related to integrated oil palm and cattle production, from farming and plantation practices to financial calculations and business feasibility.
If done correctly, integrated oil palm and cattle production will be beneficial in increasing the productivity of both oil palm and livestock.
The proper application of the integration can support the of sustainable development principles and contribute to national food security.
Writing by: Danang A. Nizar