June 22, 2017
Trouw Nutrition empowers dairy farmers through intergovernmental project
Trouw Nutrition, as a member of the Indonesian - Dutch programme on Food Security on Livestock (DIFS-Live), has marked important milestones in the development of the dairy sector in West Java.
The DIFS-Live programme is governed by a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services at the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta signed in July 2014. Through partnership arrangements between private sector stakeholders, knowledge institutes and governmental institutes in West Java, different pilots and capacity building initiatives were designed and implemented relating to a variety of sectoral projects including animal feed improvements in the dairy sector.
Demand for dairy products in Indonesia has increased by more than 10% on an annual basis over the past decade. While this offers enormous opportunities for local producers to improve their livelihoods by increasing their production to meet this demand, suboptimal production rates have made the country reliant on imports instead.
A spokesperson from the DIFS-Live team also told eFeedLink: "The awareness and know-how of good feeding practices are limited, particularly for smallholders. Most of such farmers are concerned about the price of feed products rather than their quality. Within this project we see there is room for improvement on dairy nutrition. Through this project, our presence in the 'business-to-farm' market especially for dairy cooperatives has become stronger."
In 2015, Nutreco established the Trouw Nutrition Dairy Sustainability Programme as part of the DIFS-Live programme. The aim is to increase average milk production and improve the livelihood of smallholder dairy farms in West Java.
Nutreco, through Trouw Nutrition, had appointed a dedicated project manager and two field officers to lead the project, with support from staff with skills in animal nutrition, marketing and laboratory services. Through the programme, Trouw Nutrition is assisting in the transfer of knowledge and technology in two focus areas: 1) Proper and best choice of forage material as feed for dairy cows; 2) Supplemental feed quality control, feed formulation and feeding practices.
Two dairy cooperatives were chosen to take part in the project, which represents a total of 1,796 small farmers. Of these, 16 demonstration farms were selected and trained in best practices for the two focus areas described above.
Preliminary results at the 16 selected pilot farms showed that the project has increased milk output per cow by 28% on average which has in turn increased the farmers' monthly incomes by 88% (Figures 1 and 2).
The spokesperson from the DIFS-Live team concluded, "Within the project, we introduced the concept of feed advisors. Advice for and training of farmers are very much sought after in terms of feeding practices. Now we are at the stage of dissemination. We expect more farmers to adopt the project as a means to improve their livelihoods. At the end of the programme this year, with the active role of trained coops feed advisors, we are confident that the programme will be sustainable."
An overview of the training workshops can be viewed at http://forum.efeedlink.com/contents/06-21-2017/58988e07-65c3-4238-a37f-b00cc2653c10-c781.html, and a video of the Trouw Nutrition Dairy Sustainability Programme has been posted on YouTube: https://youtu.be/M3GWZ8tidTk
In the past, Nutreco has had limited success with community development projects that were based purely on philanthropic principles. As a result, Nutreco transitioned to an approach more aligned with Michael Porter's (Harvard Business School) concept of "Creating Shared Value". This redefined the corporation's role in society by linking the corporation's strategy with the health of the community around it. Nutreco adopted this approach in 2014 with two projects, one being the Trouw Nutrition Dairy Sustainability Programme as discussed above, and the other being for catfish farmers in Nigeria.