A dairy farmer picks up a jug for milking. (Photo Courtesy of Frisian Flag Indonesia)

Empowering Dairy Farmers for Better Food Safety and Security

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

OCTOBER 18, 2020

Jakarta. Milk producer Frisian Flag Indonesia said empowering dairy farmers will take Indonesia a step closer to better food security and safety.

Frisian Flag sees a positive trend in daily milk consumption. More people drink milk every day as part of a healthier lifestyle and immunity booster against the coronavirus.  

“The need for animal protein and fresh milk supply is also increasing. This becomes our chance to together improve the potential of Indonesia’s dairy cow farmers,” Frisian Flag Indonesia corporate affairs director Andrew F. Saputro told an online conference on Friday.

Since 1996, Frisian Flag Indonesia has partnered with local milk cooperatives dan farmers through the company's Dairy Development Program (DDP). The program encourages farmers to implement good dairy farming practices for better milk quality and productivity per cow.

Indonesian dairy farmers can also learn from their Dutch counterparts who already have almost 150 years long of experience in sustainable farming, Andrew said.

“In DDP, we have shared experience on sustainable farming that prioritizes food safety and health. The [knowledge] can be used to guard our food security and safety for fresh milk particularly during the pandemic,” he added.

Indonesian Dairy Cooperatives Association (GKSI) chairman Dedi Setiadi said the partnership has helped them meet the consumption needs for fresh milk. DDP has also spurred business growth and enabled farmers to overcome the challenges of livestock management. 

"The collaborative spirit also helps improve the farmers' well-being," Dedi said.

The Agricultural Ministry also gave their thumbs up for the partnership between Frisian Flag Indonesia and local farmers.

Nasrullah, the ministry's director general for livestock and animal health, said the government urges collaboration from all parties to achieve food safety and security.

"Our ability to provide fresh milk on our own is needed amid the pandemic. We must ensure the availability of proteins, which mostly derive from animals such as meat, eggs, and milk, to boost people's immunity," he said.

According to Ali Agus, animal nutrition expert from the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), animal feed and health management is key to food safety.

"Food safety awareness should begin from the upstream. There must be operational standards in farming management, starting from the animal feed. [Feeding animals] should not only pay attention to the feed's quantity, but also its quality and safety towards the livestock's health and products," Ali said.

Farmers also need to ensure the animal sheds meet the standards, he added.

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