We hope that some 20 percent of the 700 thousand imported feedlot cattle are heifers."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In its efforts to encourage cattle production at home and reduce imports which last year still reached 36 percent of domestic needs, the government requires importers to include heifers in their feedlot cow imports.

The Trade Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry will soon draft a technical guidance for the cattle importation scheme which requires the inclusion of mother cows. The government will audit the number of heifers included in the importation of feedlot cattle at the end of 2018.

"At the end of 2018, the number of heifers that companies have imported would be audited. It should reach 20 percent of their total imports. If importers are allowed to import 123,800 feedlot cows at the end of this year, there should be between 24,000 and 26,000 heifers at the end of 2018," Director General for Internal Trade of the Ministry of Trade Oke Nurwan, said in Jakarta, Friday (Oct. 28).

At home there are now 32 feedlot companies -- or about 75 percent of all feedlot firms which had the commitment to import cattle based on the Agriculture Ministers Regulation No.49/2016, Director General of External Trade of the Ministry of Trade Dody Edward said on the occasion.

"Now, a total of 32 companies already have the commitment. We have issued a license for the import of 123,800 feedlot cows (with the obligation to include heifers). We know there are about 46 feedlot companies. About 75 percent of them have had the commitment. Ahead, we want the number of those having the commitment to also import heifers to increase," Dody said.

The government has recently changed its feedlot cattle importation scheme policy. So far, feedlot imports carried out to meet the peoples need for protein reached about 600 thousand heads of cows per annum. Now it requires the inclusion of mother cows in the importation scheme in an effort to increase production at home.

The new importation scheme is contained in the Agriculture Ministers Regulation No. 49 Year of 2016 on Large Ruminant Importation into the Territory of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Ministry of Agriculture requires cattle importers to also include mother cows in their imports. Companies should import one heifer in five feedlot cows (1:5 ratio) while breeder cooperative importers are required to bring in one mother cow in 10 feedlot cattle imports.

The Indonesian government has decided to carry out the import of feedlot cattle because the domestic demand for beef has reached 675 thousand tons, while the stock at the Ministry of Agriculture and state logistics board Bulog is estimated to be 416 thousand tons only.

Indonesia needs to import at least 238 thousand tons beef or about 600 thousand live of cattle in 2016.

The trade ministry has issued a license to import 123,800 feedlot cows in the third semester of this year after feedlot businesses committed to import 20 percent heifers of the total cattle imports.

"For the third semester of 2016, the import agreement letter (SPI) has been issued to 32 importer companies to import 123,800 heads of cows," Director General of Internal Trade of the Trade Ministry Oke Nurwan told a press conference in Jakarta.

The permits should have been issued in September but the government issued these only in October after feedlot importers made a commitment to import 20 percent heifers when they import cows, the director general said.

A license for importing cows has been issued to importers for shipment until the end of December 2016, according to Oke. A limited cabinet meeting held previously had agreed to allow import of 150 thousand heads of cattle in the third semester.

Indonesia needed to import one million heads of cows this year to meet the domestic need for beef. But the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade, therefore, require importers to include heifers while importing feedlot cattle.

"We hope that some 20 percent of the 700 thousand imported feedlot cattle are heifers," Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman had pointed out in Yogyakarta on October 6.

Indonesias per capita beef consumption in 2015 reached 2.56 kg per year or about 653.980 tons, according to Sapibagus.com online http://www.sapibagus.com.

Of this amount, some 416.090 tons or about 2,447,000 live cows or 64 percent were supplied by local production while the remaining 237.890 tons or about 1,400,000 live cows or 36 percent were imported.

The imports consisted of 720 thousand feedlot cattle and frozen beef equaled 680 thousand heads of cattle.

This year, Indonesias per capita beef consumption per year is forecast to increase by 10 percent to 2.85 kg. This means that the country needs some 738.024 tons, or equal to 4,341,323 live cows.

Local production is predicted to supply 469,235 tons of meat or equal to 2,760,000 live cows or 62 percent of the total needs. Thus, a total of 268.790 tons or equal to 1,581,117 live cows (38 percent) should be imported to meet the domestic need for the commodity.

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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