Director General for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Health in the Agriculture Ministry, I Ketut Diarmita, encouraged the export of poultry products to neighbouring countries. He viewed it as important to make businessmen more competitive and improve product quality.
Ketut Diarmita became speaker in a seminar organised by Association of Animal Sciences Scholars (ISPI) in the auditorium of Faculty of Animal Sciences UGM on Thursday (26/1). Ketut admitted it would not be easy for businessmen to compete for export market if treatment of animal has not met animal welfare principle. “This means we have to improve ourselves. We will be able to do exports by following international regulations, from biosafety to compartment, all is free from AI (Avian Influenza) while the principle of animal welfare needs to come first,” he said.
He saw that the Indonesian poultry products can reach neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Timor Leste, or Papua New Guinea. He said he continued to encourage local businessmen in poultry to have an eye for this area rather than competing domestically that can stop the business of traditional poultry breeders.
Furthermore, Ketut Diarmita touched upon the price of beef that has not dropped drastically despite the government policy on imported meat. In his opinion, the price has not so reduced because the national meat production cannot yet meet domestic demands.
Secetary General of ISPI, Didiek Purwanto, said the meat import policy was a temporary policy under a situation which is not normal. He said this year they would need 700 thousand cows to meet the national demands. “The local cattle can only supply not more than 65 percent of all national demands,” he said.
Didiek calculated that if the 700 thousand imported cows can be provided and for four months they are raised and fattened until they weigh 150 kilogram each, these will be able to meet the national demands. “I think if this is implemented, at least it would not affect the local cows population so as to not having drastic slaughter. It’s important that businessmen not only chase profits, but also make contributions to the society,” he said.
Didiek stated the government needs to monitor the plan to import one productive female cow of all five slaughter cows that will later be bred. Although the cows are no longer be imported from Australia, but the cows need to be be free from foot and mouth disease, Didiek affirmed.