The Federal Government has made a $300,000 contribution from the $60 million, 10 year Indonesian Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector to the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) Indonesia-Australia Pastoral Industry Student Exchange Program.
As reported by Beef Central back in March, the pioneering student exchange program was expected to become one of the first initiatives funded under the $60m program, which was first launched by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in July last year and supported by his successor Tony Abbott.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the funding was in line with the government’s commitment to growing rural and regional communities, building international relationships, as well as encouraging young people to pursue agricultural careers.
“I am always working to improve market access and to improve farmgate returns and the NTCA program makes a valuable contribution to building a greater shared understanding of the practices and the interdependency of the beef and cattle sectors in Northern Australia and in Indonesia,” Minister Joyce said.
“The program creates an opportunity for mutual exchange with cattle producers in the Territory to host Indonesian agricultural students and then visit those students in Indonesia.”
Minister Joyce said the exchange programme delivered important technical support in skills development of students, producers and business owners in the cattle industry.
“I hope that through our strategic partnership with Indonesia, we can assist one of Australia’s closest friends and neighbours realise its potential in livestock production and to develop a viable industry over the long term,” Minister Joyce said.
“Participants in the programme learn valuable lessons in working in a beef cattle enterprise, and working safely and effectively with cattle that includes best practice animal welfare, handling and husbandry techniques.
“They also gain insights and knowledge about the supply chain, nutrition management, breeding and animal health.”
President of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, David Warriner, said host station staff and families in Australia gain invaluable knowledge and insights about Indonesian culture, society, and the Indonesian beef and cattle industries.
“Station hosts can then visit students at their universities in Indonesia, to learn about the Indonesian beef and cattle industry and their facilities,” Mr Warriner said.
“These skills will also have long terms effects for the sector from producers through to policy makers and the NTCA and its members highly value the program and the relationships developed as a result.”
The NTCA project has been funded from a 10 year, $60 million package provided by the Australia Government to develop the Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector.
For more about the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association Indonesia Australia Pastoral Industry Student Program visit www.ntca.org.au/our_industry/international_relations.html.