Assessing Sustainability of Smallholder Beef Cattle Farming in Indonesia: A Case Study Using the FAO SAFA Framework

  •  Siwi Gayatri    
  •  Vincent Gasso-tortajada    
  •  Mette Vaarst    


This article aims to assess the sustainability of smallholder beef cattle farms in Indonesia, where there is a national goal to improve the country’s beef self-sufficiency, and to explore and discuss potential improvement limitations and solutions. This article presents a sustainability assessment based on the FAO SAFA (Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems) of six selected family farms representing three types of family farming systems (with only family labour; with hired labour; and with hired labour and a 'middleman in marketing system'). Individual structured interviews based on the SAFA guidelines were conducted and the results analysed with the SAFA Tool software. The results showed that the SAFA sustainability performance generally scored better in the farming system with relatively more resources and hired labour, and the household head also working as middleman, as compared to the other two farming systems with some or no hired labour. These results indicate that the larger room for sustainability improvement relies in the farming systems with only family labour. Lack of information, training and economical resources showed to be two main drivers that explain part of these differences. These results suggest that the government’s role in increasing awareness, providing information and training and facilitating sustainable development practices is critical.

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