YOGYAKARTA (KU) – To help provide animal feed following the Merapi disaster, Disaster Response Unit (DERU) UGM started to send feeds including rice bran, concentrates and greens. DERU dispatched the feed to 37 farmers joining the Ngudi Makmur I group of Ngepring hamlet, Purwobinangun, Pakem. “We send about 2 tons of greens for cattles here,” said one of the volunteers of DERU UGM, Sukmi Al Kausar, on Thursday night (11/10) when delivering the aid.
Kausar said that the greens was taken from Pleret in Bantul regency. The feed in Sleman cannot be consumed by the cattles as it has been contaminated with volcanic ashes. “It’s hazardous to consume as it is poisonous,” he said.
Kausar from Faculty of Animal Sciences UGM said that they had 8 tons of greens and 8 tons of concentrates. “We send them to Kepuharjo, Plejosari, Kalitengah, and Kalikidul for cows," said the student from Aceh
Animal feed delivery will continue due to the urgent need. “We’ll continue to send the aid in line with the different financial resources,” Kausar estimated that there are still many cattles being underfed as they have been left by their owners to evacuate.
Sulistiadi (35), a farmer who received the aid, said his group consists of 37 members, “Each has 2 or three cattles. Most of us are short of feed. Yesterday, one of the cattles died as it was poisoned after consuming grasses contaminated with ashes,” he said.
According to Sulis, the amount of milk production decreased from 280 litres a day to 160. “Obviously, milk production has decreased as the animals are underfed. We cannot milk the cows, either, as we’re evacuating,” he said.
In addition, farmers find it difficult to meet water consumption of the cattles. This is because the water absorbing equipment they built in Kali Boyong has been damaged due to the lava flood. “Now we lack of water,” he said.
In the eruption of Mt. Merapi, some 294 of 8,800 cows in Sleman were killed. Some of the animals have been evacuated.