News » Crop Livestock System

(adm/Dec 20, 2008)

In the development of sustainable agricultural sector, it is necessary to emphasize the use of suitable combinations of crop and livestock varieties for possible higher productivity and benefits. The choice of commodities and livestock in fact influenced not only by technical factors but also by socio and economical conditions.

Fundamentally, an integrated crop-animal based production systems would definitely benefit farmers. Research on Crop-Animal systems has been conducted in Indonesia over the past two decades. IAARD recognize the importance to look deeper into the present agricultural cropping systems issue and to find better alternative solutions in the future. IAARD has launched a downstream research and development program on Crop-livestock Systems (CLS) based on rice and cattle. The program is including in its technologies such as : feeding strategy, diseases control, probiotic and artificial insemination.

The basic principle of the integrated crop-livestock system is the simple relationship between crop and animal system to maintain land productivity in terms of physical and economical aspects. Livestock utilizes residues of rice plants (i.e. rice straw and rice bran - the products of rice milling unit), while on the other hand, the rice land, either in irrigated or rain-fed areas, receives manure produced by livestock as organic fertilizer. The objective of this model is to optimize the utilization of natural resources under a nutrient recycling scheme to increase food-crop and livestock production while preserving the environment and soil fertility. Deterioration of soil fertility by overexploitation of land and overused of in-organic fertilizers, particularly during the green revolution, should be stopped. The suitable livestock species in this model is cattle, a biological instrument that converts agricultural residues into organic fertilizer and therefore maintains soil productivity. This animal also serves as savings, and is important to the social status of farmers.