The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association is hosting 20 Indonesian agricultural students for the next eight weeks as part of the NTCA Indonesian-Australia Pastoral Program.
The eleven women and nine men arrived in the Territory this week and are in training at the Heaslip Facility at the NTCA's Bohning Yards in Alice Springs for the next two weeks.
They will then head out to cattle stations in the Top End where they will spend the next six weeks working as station hands. This is the seventh year of the NTCA's groundbreaking program. It is funded by the Federal Government as part of the Australia-Indonesia Red Meat and Cattle Partnership.
The Northern Territory Government through the Department of Primary Industry and Resources and StudyNT also play substantial roles in the program.
NTCA chief executive officer Ashley Manicaros said the program was developed to enhance the unique relationship that exists between Indonesia, Australia and the Northern Territory. The Territory is the largest live exporting region in Australia and Indonesia is the primary destination for NT cattle.
"Every year millions of Indonesians choose Northern Territory beef as part of their nutritional needs," Mr Manicaros said. "As a result we have established a relationship which is effectively an integrated supply chain partnership. This means we are not only creating jobs in the Territory but also in Indonesia."
"This program is targeted at the future beef industry leaders of Indonesia. So far there are more than 100 NIAPP alumni who have been through our program and contributing to the development of the Indonesian industry."
The students are from some of the largest universities in Indonesia including West Nusa Tenggara (Lombok region); Borneo; West Papua and Kupang in West Timor. During their training in Central Australia they will learn skills including horse and motorbike riding; animal husbandry and welfare; breeding and genetics; rangelands management; and how to work safely in the beef industry.
As part of this cross-cultural program there is a reciprocal tour where host station members go back to Indonesia and tour the beef industry over there. Mr Manicaros said this has proven to be an important information sharing aspect of the program and gives the host station an insight into the customer requirements.
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