UGM Faculty of Animal Science collaborates with Singapore-based multinational consulting firm Global Food Partners (GFP) and AERES University of Applied Sciences from the Netherlands to establish the first training center and model cage-free egg farm in Indonesia. The respective parties signed the collaboration online on Monday (7/6) with UGM represented by the Dean of Faculty of Animal Science Professor Ali Agus, GFP by animal scientist Kate Hartcher, and AERES by researcher and lecturer Jasper Heerkens.
This center will provide training in cage-free management and production for egg producers and stakeholders in Indonesia. In addition, it will serve as a model farm and center for research and development in cage-free egg production. UGM will handle matters related to center facilities, including land, building, infrastructure, staff, daily maintenance, and others. In return, GFP will design courses and provide relevant technological experts.
“Global Food Partners will compose content and materials for courses, providing technological expertise and long-term support,” said Ali Agus.
According to him, UGM has invested a considerable amount of resources and efforts to develop sustainable animal husbandry programs. The Faculty is grateful for the opportunity to host the collaborative project and operate the model farm. Apart from promoting animal welfare, this collaboration also aims to bring together egg producers and stakeholders to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the egg industry in Indonesia and Asia. Ali added that cage-free farming would certainly benefit small farmers with under 1,000 egg-laying hens. As this method considered animal welfare, cage-free eggs would be valued differently at a much higher price than conventional ones.
“In contrast to the battery-cage farming, this method allows hens to freely roam inside the cage, whether on the first, second, or third floor. We can transfer knowledge and technology of this cage-free farming to small farmers using a simple model soon. Hopefully, it will benefit the community too,” he explained.
On the same occasion, Kate Hartcher from GFP appreciated the collaboration among the three parties. Kate assessed that the lack of technical support in cage-free farming had majorly hampered animal welfare, human livelihoods, farm profitability, and industry success.
“Thus, we are committed to empowering local producers and future agricultural industry leaders across Asia,” said Kate.
Researcher and lecturer in poultry at AERES, Jasper Heerkens, added that there had been many technological advances in the knowledge and management of cage-free farming. Jasper hopes that through this project, egg producers in Asia can use technology to switch to cage-free.
“We are pleased to share this lesson to help egg producers in Indonesia and Asia switch to cage-free production,” said Jasper.
Author: Agung Nugroho