MSM embarked in November on a new multi-year project with the Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia (IPB). Carried out in collaboration with Wageningen University and the Aeres Group of agricultural education institutes in the Netherlands, the project aims to strengthen the capacity of IPB’s Faculty of Animal Science on Animal Logistics of Poultry and Livestock.
Over the next four years, MSM will focus on three key areas: curriculum development and training of faculty, research, and strengthening the interaction with the agricultural sector. Underlying these activities is strengthening of the management of the faculty vis-à-vis its expanded scope of operation. The project is funded by the Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education, Nuffic.
Animal logistics is a multidisciplinary area in which agricultural and veterinary sciences meet logistics, processing, cold-chain technology, economics and retail. Additionally, broader objectives such as animal welfare, food safety, food quality, competitiveness and ultimately public health require knowledge from those domains: ‘the’ universal animal logistics expert does not (yet) exist. Therefore, animal logistics at IPB will be built as a coherent, holistic program comprising both education and research, supported by an organizational capacity strengthening program, flanking the academic development cooperation. In addition, a close collaboration within the so-called ‘triple helix’ of employers, government and knowledge providers is necessary to put the knowledge generated and disseminated at the university into practice.
This project is embedded in the broader context of Indonesia’s economic and agricultural development. The agricultural sector plays an important role in Indonesia’s development vision to be a New Industrialized Country by 2020. Most of the 35 industrial clusters targeted are from the agricultural and agro-industry sector. Within this context, improvement of animal logistics, i.e. transportation, processing and distribution, is a key priority. Quality of processing is crucial to safeguard food safety and consumer preference. Distribution and transportation are time consuming and costly in the Indonesian archipelago, making the sector vulnerable for international competition. This is especially critical in view of the pending ASEAN economic integration, which will be achieved by 2016. Know-how and policies on issues of food safety related to processing, distribution, transportation methods, and handling facilities need to be strengthened in the light of the foreseen growth of domestic and international consumption of animal products.