JAKARTA – The Technology Research and Application Agency (BPPT) has come out with an innovation, converting palm oil waste into highly nutritious cattle feed.

ILLUSTRATION. Herd of cows eating hay in cowshed on dairy farm. ILLUSTRATION. Herd of cows eating hay in cowshed on dairy farm.

Director of Agricultural Production Technology Center, Arief Arianto, said the move came in response to the government’s plan to boo the cattle population to reach 3.2 million last year in a bid to meet domestic demand.

“BPPT is following up that target by producing highly nutritious cattle feed,” Arianto said according to the BPPT website.

Arianto explained that the target could be reached if there were enough feedstock and land, and one of the ways to meet the requirement was by producing feedstock from palm oil waste.

Indonesia is the world’s largest palm oil producer, with its oil palm plantation covering more than 16.1 million hectares (Sawit Watch 2017). The industry churns out waste that can be used to produce feedstock, such as kernel waste, fibre, fruit bunch frames and other solid waste.

Arianto said that the country’s sprawling expanse of oil palm plantation has the potential of being able to support a healthy growth of the national cattle population through programs integrating land for oil palm plantation and for cattle breeding. “The innovation in feedstock from palm oil waste can increase the weight of the cattle,” he said.

Oil palm kernel waste has a higher nutritional value compared to other waste. It has a rough protein content of 15 percent and about 4.230 kcal/ kg of energy so that it can function as a concentrate feed.

A research conducted by Utomo and Widjaya (2005) showed that oil palm kernel waste has the potential of being a source of nutrients. The nutritional content of this waste is as follow: rough protein 12.63-17.41 percent; rough fibre 9.98-25.79 percent; rough fat 7.12-15.15 percent; gross energy 3,217-3,454 kcal/kg of dry material. The solid production will increase in line with the production of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) as it would account for about three percent of the processed FFB.

In general mills have not yet made use of this solids in an optimal way and even in some cases, they are merely thrown away. Solids refer to solid waste that is the byproduct of oil palm processing into Crude Palm Oil (CPO). It is in form and in consistency like the waste from tofu making but dark brown in colour, tasteless and and soft when eaten, and carries a sweetish tangy aroma.

To promote the innovation, BPPT is providing training for the dissemination of the technology in several regions such as in Transmataram village in the Tapung sub-district of Kampar in Riau. The training focuses on the application of the technology of processing oil palm waste, the reproduction technology, animal health technology and maintenance management.

BPPT also provides the material for the training in the form of palm oil waste-base feedstock processing packages containing a shredder, a mixer and a milling machine.

“Hopefully, with this training, the knowledge and skills of farmers in Kampar district can lead to innovation in the breeding of meat cattle so that is can directly contribute to the increase in livestock population in Indonesia,” Arianto said.

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