There are two common reasons why a stagnation and even decline of farmer groups occur. First, there is no preparation stage for farmers before the establishment of a farmer group; second, they have not got any livestock assistance from the government. "We often encounter a group of beef cattle farmers still have a regular meeting in form of social gathering (arisan). However, the cattle population they have is actually less than the number of the members involved," said Agung Budiyanto, a lecturer teaching Reproduction and Obstetrics in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Gadjah Mada (UGM). He had found a group with 28 members but only had 5 cattle.
Agung, assisted by the reproduction laboratory team and Animal Midwifery Faculty as well as koass students, gave a guidance to cattle breeding groups with the emphasis on the improvement of feed and reproduction. "Reproduction is a key to increasing the population. Breeders also earn money from selling calves. Wrong feed could result in poor reproductivity," said a post doctoral alumni of the University of Perth, Australia.
The success of coaching, Agung further said, is determined by the interaction intensity. People who are called to do the coaching will be dealing with rural communities, who can not change without the right approach. The approach often enters into social and even personal realms. "They are probably used to getting verbal counseling. But it is the direct coaching into the cattle shelter by a person who is capable that is effective to change them," he said.
One of the groups that has been successfully fostered by Agung and the Faculty team is a group of beef cattle farmers called Mergo Andhini Makmur (MAM) in Bolu Hamlet, Margokaton Village, Seyegan District, Sleman. The MAM Chairman Poniman Siswo Sudarsono explained that the group was established in 2001 with 20 members and a population of 25 dams. And now it has grown into 49 dams and 13 sires. Meanwhile, the number of calves keeps changing because of the births and sales. Currently, there are 16 calves and there are 16 pregnant cows. The members of the group grew to 32 people, and most of them are still young. "Every year they are able to sell 20 cattle. The number of births ranges from 19 to 25 calves per year," said Poniman.
Read this article completely in TROBOS Livestock magazine 185th ed/March 2015