Beef prices in various regions in Indonesia is still high. Fluctuations in the price of beef in the fasting month and ahead of Eid is due to high public demand for meat. To suppress the price of meat, the government has issued a policy enforcement of beef imports. This policy is, according to the Dean of Faculty of Animal Science, Prof. Ali Agus, considered inefficient policy which would not resolve problems in the field related to the lack of national supply of beef. “During this time, no addition is provided to the production of cattle. It just moves the cattle from region to region,” said Ali Agus to the reporters, Friday (10/6).
According to Ali Agus, while the government policy only relies on imports of frozen meat or suppressing the price of beef in the market but does not manage right policies to increase the number of productive female cattle population, the price of beef will continue to escalate. According to Ali Agus, the government needs to import good young cattle to increase the number of cattle population. “At least 200 thousand young cattle are needed to be distributed to various regions in Indonesia. However, I guess this is not an easy task. It is proven very hard to reach 50 thousand. The government should involve the private sector to be able to overcome this problem,” he said.
Ali Agus explained the number of national cattle population estimated at 12 million, it includes productive cows that reach 5-6 million. As for cattle ready for slaughter, it just reached 2-3 million per year. “Therefore, currently 40 percent of the meat are imported in the form of frozen meat or live cattle,” he said.
To import 200 thousand young cattle, according to Ali Agus, the government should not do it by themselves, but involve the private sector which have received permission to import them. There is policy that says the importers of cows are required to bring female productive cows. “They are obliged to bring a minimum of 10 percent female productive cows. The government could actually play a role here. However, this rule was never implemented,” he said.
However, Ali Agus said, not all private sectors want to oblige to this rule since it is not good for business. According to Ali Agus, private sectors could obey this rule by cooperating with livestock farmers. “In Lampung, there are already companies that implement it,” he concluded.