12 June 2014
Two consignments of breeder cattle from the Northern Territory will be flown to Timor-Leste in the coming weeks, as part of a landmark deal to boost that nation’s herd size and improve genetics.
It’ll be the first time Australia has flown cattle to that country and is the latest in a number of agricultural partnerships between Timor-Leste and the Northern Territory.
Ben Hindle, from the Northern Territory Livestock Exporters’ Association, says it’s a small but significant new market for the north’s cattle industry.
“The numbers will be in the hundreds. It won’t be anything completely massive, but it’s another nice emerging market to put to the books and it’ll help them build their national herd size and become a little bit more self-sufficient,” he said.
“Their need for breeder cattle has become apparent and, being only an hour’s flight away, we’re best situated to help them.”
About 230 heifers have been sourced for the first two consignments. The cattle will be flown out of Darwin and landed in Dili.
Mr Hindle says the East Timorese are after Bos indicus cattle that are about 350 kilograms, in good condition and ready to join with bulls.
At the recent announcement of Timor-Leste’s first permanent Consulate-General in Darwin, the Territory’s Chief Minister, Adam Giles, described Timor-Leste as one of the NT’s most important neighbours.
“We have stood shoulder to shoulder with Timor-Leste through some of its darkest days and it is a great pleasure to now stand beside our neighbour as it enters a new era of economic independence,” he said.
“The future development of Northern Australia depends on these relationships with Asia and I am thrilled to see Timor-Leste cementing its ties here long-term.
“The new Consulate-General will be hugely important to both countries, allowing for more effective business, community and government ties.”
The last consignment of cattle to be flown from Darwin was in 2012, when almost 200 Brahman heifers were exported to Indonesia.
Courtesy of ABC Rural