The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association (NTCA) is touring the eastern province of Nusa Tenggara Timor (NTT) as part of its ongoing commitment to improve relationships between Australia and Indonesia.

NTT is regarded as one of the most poorest regions in Indonesia, and for locals, cattle are an extremely important source of income and food.

The NTCA's executive director, Luke Bowen, says sharing expertise and technology from northern Australia's cattle industry will have spin-offs for both countries.

"The Indonesian Government has earmarked this area as one which can increase its livestock production to meet increased demand for beef, and feed into the burgeoning population of Java in particular," he said.

"There is a clear opportunity for us to provide some technical two-way exchange to improve some of the systems that are operating here.

"We know demand is increasing (in Indonesia) for boxed beef and live cattle, and this is an opportunity for local producers and also for Australian producers."

Mr Bowen say the consumption of beef in Indonesia is about 1.7 kilograms per year per capita, and the Indonesia Government is aiming to raise that to five kilograms, potentially up to 20 kilograms per year per capita.

"The capacity of the Indonesian farmers and even ourselves to supply that demand is going to be a pretty big challenge," he said.

"So this (trip) is about improving relationships and doing more than just selling cattle."

The NTCA has over the last two years pioneered an exchange program between Indonesian students and Australians working in the cattle industry.

For more on that program

Earlier this year the Indonesian Government announced it would spend millions of dollars on live export ships to transport cattle from it's outer islands to the mainland. For more on that story

 

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