Meat self-sufficiency program has long been endorsed by the government. However, until now Indonesia still relies on imported beef in the form of seed and frozen meat to meet the needs of domestic meat.
Therefore, efforts to develop sustainable superior cows must be strengthened, one through a breeding program, including crossbreeding. It is intended to increase the population and productivity to support the realization of meat self-sufficiency in Indonesia.
"Policies need to be clarified so that meat self-sufficiency program can be realized," said the Dean of the Faculty of Animal Science, Prof. Ali Agus, on Tuesday (26/4) at the campus.
According to the man, the government should clear up the direction of beef cattle crossbreeding program. Crossbreeding between local cattle and imports should not only aim to produce quality seeds with good growth alone, but also an adaptive, resilient to climate, and disease-resistant seed.
"We need breeding strategies to produce seeds with high quality, adaptable and resistant to disease," he said in the workshop entitled "Directions and Policies on National Cattle Breeding".
Ali Agus said that in a crossbreeding program it should still maintain local cattle’s germ plasm. Because the increasing number of local cattle cross-breeding with imported cows makes Indonesian local cows hard to find.
"There should be a conservation effort to preserve genuine Indonesian cows," he explained.
Dr. Tri Satya Mastuti, lecturer of the Animal Science UGM, conveys the importance of preserving local cows. The effort which can be made such as providing good bulls for purification or crossbreeding. Other efforts include identification of local cows.
In this event were also present speakers from one of the largest nation producers of cattle and sheep in the world, namely Australia. Dr. Neil Mac Donald of Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry & Fisheries talks about the benefits of a breeding program, interbreeding, and the products of cross-breeding cattle.
Neil also expressed that breeding should be tailored to the needs and conditions of each country. For example in Indonesia, breeding through crossbreeding produces cows that are able to adapt to the tropical climate and not too big in size.