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Indonesia sets up its first cage-free egg model farm and training center

Faculty of Animal Science at Indonesia's Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Global Food Partners and AERES University of Applied Sciences are cooperating to build a cage-free layer hen model farm and training center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia – the first of its kind in Asia.

11 June 2021, at 8:02am

Animal welfare has become a critical issue in Indonesia and throughout Asia over the past five years. Therefore, human beings and the livestock industries are required to not only focus on livestock production but animal welfare, as well. The Faculty of Animal Science UGM is one of the trendsetters of animal science universities in Indonesia and includes the topic of animal welfare in its research and learning programmes.

To advance animal welfare in the livestock industries, The Faculty of Animal Science UGM, Global Food Partners, and AERES University of Applied Sciences have established a collaboration to develop a cage-free training centre at its Bulaksumur Yogyakarta campus, the first of its kind in Indonesia and Asia.

The Centre will bring together egg producers and other industry stakeholders to improve the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the egg industry in Indonesia and across Asia. It will provide practical training in best practices in cage-free management and production, serve as a model farm for cage-free producers, and as a research and development center. The Faculty of Animal Science will host the training centre, provide land, buildings, infrastructure, staff, daily maintenance, and other resources for this collaboration. Global Food Partners has designed the course content, will bring in technological expertise, and will provide ongoing support from its team of in-house experts.

The Dean of the Faculty of Animal Science UGM, Prof Dr Ir Ali Agus, DAA, DEA, IPU, ASEAN Eng said, “UGM has invested considerable resources and efforts to develop robust animal science programmes, including the Faculty of Animal Science, to advance its work on animal food production and animal welfare roadmaps. The Faculty of Animal Science UGM is proud to host and operate this cage-free training centre and model farm. We expect that the model farm will be able to complement and further advance its work.”

Ali Agus hopes that the Faculty of Animal Science UGM will become a stronger institution in ASEAN in terms of producing and transferring knowledge and technology in animal welfare and behavior. The collaboration also opens up opportunities for the Faculty of Animal Science UGM to get favorable publicity regarding its work in hosting the model farm. In addition, the Faculty of Animal Science has the opportunity to increase market visibility and program reach to new students through publicity related to training centers.

Dr Kate Hartcher, Sr Animal Scientist at Global Food Partners, stated, "Global Food Partners is proud to partner with Universitas Gadjah Mada and Aeres University of Applied Sciences to establish this new Centre – the first of its kind in the region. Lack of technical support in the operation of cage-free egg farms is a major barrier for animal welfare, human livelihood, farm profitability, and indeed the success of the industry. We are committed to empowering local producers and future leaders in the agricultural industries across Asia."

Dr Jasper Heerkens, researcher and lecturer in poultry at Aeres University of Applied Sciences, stated, "There have been many technological advancements in cage-free housing and management across the globe. We are confident that with this training programme, egg producers in Asia can use technology to transition to cage-free production, with local adaptation. We are excited to share our learning with egg producers in Indonesia and Asia to help with a successful transition to cage-free egg production."