UGM Vice-Rector for Research, Business Development, and Cooperation, Ignatius Susatyo Wijoyo, along with the Dean of the Faculty of Animal Science, Professor Budi Guntoro, and CEO of Global Food Partners, Elissa Lane, inaugurated the first international training center for cage-free layer chicken management in Indonesia and Asia.
In addition to training, this center also hosts a demonstration farm with a capacity of 3,000 cage-free layer chickens in the Kalijeruk paddy field area, Sleman, Yogyakarta. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and the unveiling of the nameplate by the vice-rector, accompanied by the dean and the CEO, marked the inauguration on Friday (16/6).
Ignatius Susatyo Wijoyo stated that this international training center is the first of its kind in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. He hopes this facility will encourage an increase in egg production from cage-free systems because cage-free egg production prioritizes animal welfare, unlike conventional cage systems.
“Cage-free eggs guarantee a higher level of animal welfare. It’s like producing happy eggs, and we hope that consumers and farmers will be happy if this kind of eggs can be produced on a large scale,” he said.
Ignatius hopes that the availability of cage-free eggs will increase competitiveness in the national and international markets. The establishment of this internationally accredited training center, he believes, is the result of collaboration between academics and the industry in supporting advanced and sustainable animal food sources.
“We hope that the Faculty of Animal Science can become the host for cage-free egg production and a research hub for students, lecturers, and industry professionals from Indonesia and abroad,” he added.
Professor Budi Guntoro stated that Global Food Partner and Universitas Gadjah Mada established this international training center in 2020. The construction started in June last year after being delayed due to the pandemic.
“The construction was completed in January with the help of partners and collaborators, and the equipment was imported from the Netherlands,” he explained.
Researchers from the Aeres University of Applied Science, the Netherlands, also contributed to establishing this training center.
“Because this is an international training center, we hope to train farmers and entrepreneurs toward cage-free farming. For product distribution, we collaborate with hotels and are ready to train farmers in management and husbandry,” said Professor Guntoro.
He believes that the cage-free farming model can become the future farming model as consumers become more aware of healthy eggs.
“We hope that the establishment of this project can benefit the livestock industry in Indonesia,” he expressed his hope.
Speaking to reporters, Elissa Lane stated that she fully supports establishing this center in Indonesia, aiming to produce raw materials for the global trading chain for cage-free eggs.
“We want to implement good practices in layer chicken farming that prioritize animal welfare and support sustainable supply chains. I think this is a good local example from Indonesia, the only one in ASEAN,” she said.
According to Lane, farmers, researchers, academics, and industry professionals can fully utilize the training center for breeding cage-free laying hens.
“We want private parties, veterinarians, and researchers to learn from this farming model,” she explained.
She also mentioned that this farming model would be implemented in other countries. Shortly, the same concept will be established in China.
“The same project will be implemented in China. Together, we want to create something different by inviting layer chicken farmers worldwide to learn and be interested in livestock farming that honors animals,” she concluded.
Author: Gusti Grehenson