Religious Festivities and Marketing of Small Ruminants in Central Java – Indonesia
Indonesia is a country where small ruminants are important in religious festivities. This study analyzes small ruminant marketing opportunities on account of the Moslem feast of sacrifice, Idul Adha, in three agroecological zones in Central Java. Small ruminant marketing is classified into three categories, namely: 1) good – the market situation associated with the religious feast of Idul Adha; 2) risky –usually occurring in August and September when farmers need cash to prepare the paddy fields and to pay school fees; and 3) normal – which is how the market situation may be described in the other parts of the year. A total of 150 farmers are visited monthly, over a period of one year, to observe their marketing strategies and the economic benefits gained from keeping small ruminants. Sheep fattening on the basis of rice bran supplementation is explored as a feasible innovation for the lowlands. Ten small ruminant markets are monitored two times corresponding to each of the three market situations. Added to this, 42 roadside sellers and 44 mosques are visited. The supply, demand, price, and weight of animals offered at the markets show a peak during Idul Adha. In the lowlands and middle zone, sheep are preferred over goats as sacrificial offerings during Idul Adha. In the uplands, goats dominate the farming system and the small ruminants' markets. The Idul Adha market requires male ruminants of one year of age with a bodyweight of above 25 kilograms. The majority of the farmers are not able to adjust the raising of their small ruminants in time for Idul Adha, because of their small flock sizes and the fact that they have to sell their animals to meet urgent cash needs, in particular at the end of the dry season and the start of the school year. Farmers possess minimal marketing information and usually complain about the prices they receive for their merchandise. The raising of these animals is only a secondary activity on these mixed farms. Value added estimates from small ruminants per hour of family labor input are 33–38 percent below the minimum wage labor rate. The proposed innovation to introduce sheep fattening in the lowlands for Idul Adha proves to be economically viable; however, the number of sheep that households can fatten is limited.
- December 2008