The Covid-19 pandemic has affected various sectors of life, including the livestock sector in the country. Beef cattle farmer group in Margo Mulyo, Gunung Kidul Regency, Yogyakarta, is among the affected.
Lecturer at the Animal Science Faculty (Fapet) UGM, Ir. F. Trisakti Haryadi, M.Sc., Ph.D., IPM., said the Covid-19 pandemic had reduced the livestock selling price. Based on his research on the Margo Mulyo group, he found the corona pandemic has affected livestock business at a moderate level. On the other hand, in terms of social risk on the livestock business, the impact is classified as very small.
“During the pandemic, cows experienced a decrease in selling prices, and obstruction on breeders’ direct interaction occurred due to social distancing. Yet, it does not have quite a big impact on the business they run,” he explained.
The collaborative research he conducted with Dr. Ir. Siti Andarwati, S.Pt., M.P., IPM., and Ni Made Ari Kusuma Dewi, S.Pt., shows the situation in the Margo Mulyo group proves the capability of small-scale livestock businesses to withstand disasters, including the Covid-19 pandemic. It reinforces the argument saying agricultural businesses, including livestock, can continue to contribute to farming families even in a crisis caused by disasters. Besides, it can be an alternative job for those affected by layoffs, particularly in the industrial sector.
Trisakti explained that solidarity within a group is also a prominent characteristic for small breeders when running their business. Margo Mulyo group stated that limited interaction was indeed a risk for running a business during the pandemic.
In dealing with these risks, Trisakti found that breeders show a variety of approaches. Of the 23.5 percent of breeders who stated that marketing was risky to their business, only half had a solution, namely by delaying the selling until the price stabilized. All breeders overcame social interaction risk by communicating via WhatsApp, direct interaction, or telephone.
Even so, Trisakti said the Margo Mulyo farmer group needed assistance to improve their ability to face social risks and the decline in the livestock selling price. They need education in utilizing more effective communication media to interact and support the livestock business.
Dean of the Animal Science Faculty UGM, Prof. Dr. Ir. Ali Agus, DAA., DEA., IPU., ASEAN. Eng. said the Covid-19 pandemic influenced the people’s beef cattle business. Hence assistance from various parties, including academicians, is necessary to help breeders carry on their business during the pandemic. The research conducted by lecturers at the Animal Science Faculty UGM is a form of academic responsibility for the Covid-19 pandemic.