Making biosecurity profitable for Indonesian poultry farmers

Domestic poultry, farmers, and consumers will all benefit from the work of an Australian-Indonesian research team in improving the understanding, and use, of biosecurity measures in Indonesian farms.

Making sure poultry stay healthy is important not only for the welfare of the birds, but also the lives of people interacting with them. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is extremely contagious, and control of the disease is essential to reduce the risk of a global outbreak, improve livelihoods of everyone involved in the poultry industry, and prevent further human deaths.

But when there’s low traceability and little price difference between healthy or sick birds, it can be difficult to encourage biosecurity measures on farms.

The four-year project was completed in 2013 and involved non-industrial, commercial poultry farms in Bali, West Java, and South Sulawesi. The researchers ran a range of training courses for more than 500 farmers, commercial company farm advisors, farm biosecurity auditors, and other stakeholders. They also set up a bio-secure farm of the year competition, and produced training videos.

Trained farmers who implemented Indonesian Poultry Biosecurity Centre approved farm biosecurity plans then participated in a trial selling their product under the ‘Healthy Farm’ logo in supermarkets. They found consumers were prepared to pay 10 per cent premiums for these products.

Better understanding of how disease moves and implementation of low cost biosecurity measures has helped convince both contract companies and their partner farmers of the economic benefits of biosecurity. It’s now these contract companies in Indonesia that are encouraging further adoption.

The project involved researchers from the University of New England; Institut Pertanian Bogor (Bogor Agricultural University); Directorate General of Livestock Services, Indonesia; Livestock Health Systems Australia; Indonesian Poultry Industry Forum; The University of Sydney; Universitas Udayana; the Indonesian Centre for Agriculture Socio Economic and Policy Studies, and was supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Credit for banner image: Ian Patrick.