Tue, 11 May 2010

Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The government is trying to cut meat imports by 10 percent per year until the country achieves meat self-sufficiency in 2014, an Agriculture Ministry official said.

"Meat imports from a number of countries now account for 35-36 percent (of the domestic needs). We plan to reduce the imports by 10 percent per year," Tjeppy D. Soedjana, the ministry`s director general of husbandry, said here on Monday.

Speaking at a workshop on action plan for the development of beef cattle, he said Indonesia was determined to reduce its dependence on imported meat through a program designed to achieve meat self-sufficiency in 2014.

He said Indonesia`s cattle imports dropped significantly to 450,000 heads in 2008 from 496,000 heads in 2007.

"The cattle imports further fell in 2009," he said.

This year the country`s population of beef cattle reached 11.8 million, 3.5 million of which was found in East Java, he said.

The country`s meat production was projected to reach 371,000 tons this year, or slight increase compared to 352,400 tons last year, he said.

He expressed hope the population of beef cattle would increase to 12 million-13 million by the end of this year.

"West Nusa Tenggara is one of the regions for the breeding of beef cattle to achieve meat self-sufficiency in 2014," he said.