CQU beef research continues global reach with historic Indonesian partnership
Published:04 February 2021
CQUniversity’s world renowned beef research will continue its global expansion thanks to a historic $10 million (AUD) partnership signed with the Indonesian government in January.
The Triple Helix Project, aimed at supporting long-term food security in the region, will see CQUniversity agriculture researchers work alongside primary producers, industry bodies and government to develop and grow Indonesia's beef supply chains and production prowess.
Local partners include the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning, the Ministry of Agriculture, the local government of Buleleng Regency, Sam Ratulangi University Manado, Ganesha University of Education, and Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ).
Projects will involve identifying opportunities to increase farm production in Indonesia, testing new grazing systems and working with industry to train local graziers to adopt improved practices on their farms.
The scope of the projects will include land management and pasture improvement; animal husbandry and health; genetic selection; the optimisation of herd reproductive rates; and the application of on-farm technologies.
The project is strategically important because it will allow Indonesia to better meet its strong and growing domestic demand for beef, while also helping to bolster long-term food security in the region.
Beef is used in several popular, traditional Indonesian dishes and is perceived to be the superior protein amongst many Indonesian consumers. This has led to Indonesia becoming one of the largest beef markets in Asia with consumption volume increasing year-on-year.
The country’s large population, expanding middle-class, rapid urbanisation and robust economic growth are the driving force behind this demand.
At the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the partnership, Indonesia’s Minister for National Development Planning, Suharso Monoarfa announced that the research project would come under the category of a “project of national importance” due to the synergies that will be created through its delivery.
CQUniversity’s Vice-President of Global Development, Alastair Dawson, welcomed the partnership agreement by saying that CQUniversity was well-prepared to help Indonesia boost its beef production capacity.
“CQUniversity’s ongoing involvement in agricultural research, especially in the area of beef production, has helped to support and drive the success of local producers and is one of the reasons why Rockhampton is known as the beef capital of Australia.
“Our researchers are internationally recognised and we are continually developing and improving our education, training and research capacity in this space.
“The key to this has been engaging industry in the delivery of our research and in the development of our education courses in this space.”
Mr Dawson said the partnership in Indonesia represented an important strategic step when it came to enhancing Australia’s beef production and export activities.
“Working with the Indonesian government on this project will help to ensure that strong ties are maintained with Australia, our local beef supply chain, our genetics suppliers, and our livestock advisory services sector.
“This project aims to lessen Indonesia’s reliance on international imports from countries such as Brazil and India, by boosting the country’s capacity to produce local product.
“This will help to meet growing local demand while also protecting Australia’s position as the premier supplier of imported beef products in the region. It will also create new business opportunities for Australia’s livestock processing, farm advisory and genetics companies.
“Indonesia’s demand for beef is high and continuing to grow, but local production capacity is currently very low.
“There is a risk that if Australia doesn’t support local production then our own exports will suffer as other countries enter the market with potentially cheaper and inferior quality products.
“This partnership will complement Australia’s growing reputation as a world-leader in beef production technologies,” said Mr Dawson.
The partnership was formally established an agreement signing on Wednesday 13 January and discussions are already underway with planning to take place in coming weeks to identify and allocate funding to key research and industry development projects.