Australia and Indonesia announce AU$12 million investment towards food security program

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Cattle wait in an enclosure at a livestock export yard in Noonamah, about 50 km (31 miles) south of the northern Australian city of Darwin in this June 7, 2004 file photo. Australia said on Wednesday it was suspending cattle exports to Indonesia after an outcry over the inhumane treatment of cattle by its neighbour, as animal rights groups called for an outright ban on trade to other countries. Picture taken June 7, 2004. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/Files

More than AU$12 million have been allotted by Australia and Indonesia from the Australia-Indonesia food security partnership in red meat and cattle sector in projects that would be beneficial for both the nations. Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Franciscus Sibarani, signed the agreement on Friday.

According to Joyce, the agreement will allow the industries and the government in both nations to work in co-operation with each other for better standards of productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of cattle and red meat sector and also to strengthen bilateral ties between both nations.

"The Partnership's third meeting today was a great opportunity for both nations, as neighbours working together to forge stronger relations in agricultural investment and skills," Minister Joyce said. "The $12 million will be used to promote sustainable commercial-scale beef cattle breeding in Indonesia; the continuation of the Indonesian Skills Development Programme for 2016 and 2017; and further beef processing training."

The Partnership is an initiative taken by the heads of the government in 2013 with the intention to recognise how the two countries can partake in the global supply of cattle and beef in a joint venture. The Australian government would provide an amount of AU$60 million over a period of 10 years towards the betterment of trade relations between Australia and Indonesia. Joyce said in a statement that Australia can make contributions in and benefit from the long term goal set by Indonesia to bring about higher levels of food security.

"Australian beef cattle producers have a vital role to play in assisting Indonesia to achieve food security as suppliers of high-quality cattle in the years ahead," Minister Joyce said. "Two-way trade with Indonesia was worth more than $3.8 billion in 2014. Agriculture is important to our bilateral relationship, to our economies, and to the livelihoods of farmers in both nations.

He also reiterated the long history of co-operation between Indonesia and Australia on agricultural trade issues and capacity building projects.

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