Track 1-02

Description

The demand for meat in Indonesia is currently growing by up to 8% per year, with beef cattle fattening identified as a major livestock industry (Purwantara et al. 2012). Bali cattle (Bos javanicus) account for almost 27% of total beef cattle in Indonesia; they are the predominant breed in the eastern islands and are highly favoured by smallholder farmers for their high fertility, low calf mortality and generally higher price at markets (Purwantara et al. 2012). Lombok in west Nusa Tenggara is one of the biggest suppliers of Bali cattle in Indonesia.

A major constraint to improving the overall productivity of Bali cattle is their slow growth rate, due to lack of readily available, inexpensive, high-quality protein sources. Fodder tree legumes, such as sesbania (Sesbania grandiflora), offer a fast-growing, low-cost source of protein (Evans and Rotar 1987). Farmers in Lombok have established a unique and productive integrated farming system by planting sesbania trees along the bunds of rice paddies, providing forage and timber without significantly compromising rice yield (Dahlanuddin and Shelton 2005).

As only the central part of Lombok is intensively planted with sesbania, a collaborative project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is underway aiming to: (1) characterise the existing cattle fattening system; and (2) assess the impact of differing levels of sesbania feeding on the growth rate of Bali bulls from weaning to maturity (about 30 months old).

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Growth of Bali Bulls on Rations Containing Sesbania grandiflora in Central Lombok, Indonesia

The demand for meat in Indonesia is currently growing by up to 8% per year, with beef cattle fattening identified as a major livestock industry (Purwantara et al. 2012). Bali cattle (Bos javanicus) account for almost 27% of total beef cattle in Indonesia; they are the predominant breed in the eastern islands and are highly favoured by smallholder farmers for their high fertility, low calf mortality and generally higher price at markets (Purwantara et al. 2012). Lombok in west Nusa Tenggara is one of the biggest suppliers of Bali cattle in Indonesia.

A major constraint to improving the overall productivity of Bali cattle is their slow growth rate, due to lack of readily available, inexpensive, high-quality protein sources. Fodder tree legumes, such as sesbania (Sesbania grandiflora), offer a fast-growing, low-cost source of protein (Evans and Rotar 1987). Farmers in Lombok have established a unique and productive integrated farming system by planting sesbania trees along the bunds of rice paddies, providing forage and timber without significantly compromising rice yield (Dahlanuddin and Shelton 2005).

As only the central part of Lombok is intensively planted with sesbania, a collaborative project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is underway aiming to: (1) characterise the existing cattle fattening system; and (2) assess the impact of differing levels of sesbania feeding on the growth rate of Bali bulls from weaning to maturity (about 30 months old).