November 17, 2015
For the past many years livestock raisers in Indonesia were burdened with the problem of lack of ships to transport their animals, particularly from the eastern islands of South and Southeast Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara Timur and Nusa Tenggara Barat, which supply much of the local markets for beef.
The government has finally done something to ease the problem. President Joko Widodo launched last week Camara Nusantara, one of three livestock ships that, according to him, would help reduce the price of beef across Java, which has gone up to as much as US$13.20 per kilogramme in Jakarta supermarkets as of September.
Widodo said the livestock ships, which can carry up to 500 cattle each, would hopefully improve the competitiveness of local cattle.
At present, Indonesia relies on Australia for its supply of live cattle. Imports from Australia rose 63% last year to 730,257 head.
Camara Nusantara 1 and the two other livestock ships—Sabuk Nusantara 55 and Sabuk Nusantara 56-will initially travel from Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara to Bima in West Nusa Tenggara and then to ports across Java.
Five more livestock carriers will be put into operation by 2017.