Integrated oil palm and cattle production

An estimated 10 million hectares of Indonesia is devoted to palm oil production, largely in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Palm oil operations offer significant commercial potential because the land is already purchased and in use for palm oil production. Cattle breeding under palm can provide owners with an additional income stream, and may reduce production costs and increase productivity.

IACCB is testing these propositions in four locations:

The selection of 4 projects with quite different operating environments is allowing IACCB to identify the key challenges and solutions to commercial sustainability within the Integrated Oil Palm and Cattle Production model.

SISKA - Our SISKA Partners are investing but challenges remain

Three out of four SISKA (Breeding cattle in Oil Palm Plantations) partners are expanding their herd, via selecting productive heifers and bulls from their Year 1 progeny, and through significant investments in more breeding stock. Their aim is to achieve improved economies of scale. Our Animal Health Adviser, Dr. Ross Ainsworth, provided cattle selection on-the-job training for each Partner.

Cash-flow has become especially important for all SISKA partners as palm-oil prices have fallen substantially. As a result, three SISKA partners have started fattening trials with Year 1 bulls and heifers not selected for breeding, using waste-products from the palm-oil production process.

Targeting the Qurban market at Idul Adha resulted in premium prices for the cattle. In two locations, the initial trials resulted in average daily gains of 0.7 kg/head/day with a relatively cheap concentrate composed of local products. These results are encouraging but could be improved to improve the cost of gain.

The importance of enterprise data management is well-understood by SISKA managers. Consequently, the three remaining companies in the program are installing the CALPROF software and integrating it with their plantation software. To read more about how advanced data management processes are helping to transform plantation management practices in Indonesia click here and read “INTEGRATION THROUGH INNOVATION.”