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The prospects are encouraging for business in ostrich farming in Indonesia as reflected by sizable demand that tends to rise from year year for ostrich. Market information said that supply is only 10% of the requirement in the world ostrich market. Therefore it is worth boosting development of ostrich farms in the country.

Ostrich farming is a new area of business in the country. But ostrich population has grown fast since the business was first introduced in the country in 1996. Now there are about 10,000 ostriches. The first company raising ostriches in the country is PT Royal Ostrindo in Kupang, East Nusatenggara. It started with 2,800 ostriches over a 450 hectares of barren land. Later new farms were opened in Gunung Sindur, Serpong in West Java raising 1,200 ostriches in a 32 hectares of land. More farms come on line including one in Cibadak, Sukabumi, with 300 ostriches. Business sources said a plan has been made to open another farm in Purwakarta over a 680 hectares of land.

Ostriches are potential commodity for export. Ostriches belong to the Struthio camelus species which has 6 subspecies. One of the six subspecies, Struthio syiacus, has been extinct since 1914. Struthio syiacus was a species coming from the Syrian desert. The other five subspecies are still flourishing in their original habitats in a number of countries in Africa, Australia and Asia including Indonesia.

Ostriches are more valuable than many other bird species as all parts of their body could be processed into various useful products. The meat, eggs, body skin, bone oil and their eye cornea are highly valuable. The cells of ostrich meat are known to have low content of cholesterol and fat compared with other animal cells. Their eggs could be sold to other breeding farms or processed into cake ingredient or for direct consumption.

The bird leather which have typical spots could be used as a material to produce bags and garments. Gucci and Lousi Vuitton, two famous garment makers, use ostrich leather as the material for bags, belts, wallets and other accessories. Business information said that some body organs of ostriches could be used as substitute for human body organ such as eye cornea and blood vessels needed in heart by pass surgery. Their leather is used for ladies' hand bags. The price of a Gucci bag made of ostrich leather is millions of rupiahs and a Gucci wallet is valued at hundreds of thousands of rupiahs. Their feather is used in car industry to produce car seats and ceilings or as a material for shawls, small brushes and wall decorations.

Ostrich oil is uused as an ingredient in cosmectic industry such as for facial scrub, cleanser, skin care with lips protector and lovender tasmanian soap. Ostrich oil is mixed with natural materials like aloe, avocado, coconut oil, carrot, and mixed with essential oils to give aromas to suit the market requirements.

The medical sector uses substances in the ostrich brain as medicine to cure alzheimer. Eye lenses of ostriches could be used for eye transplantation. Their bones are used as an ingredient of a mixture that could arouse sexual desire. In some African countries ostriches are major export commodities.

A female ostrich could produce 50 eggs a year and remains productive during the age of 2.5 to 40 years. An ostrich egg is about 1.5 kg in weight or equivalent to 24 to 26 chicken eggs. It is 15 cm in diameter and 12 cm high with a color of cream.

The problem for Indonesia is that the issue over exotic being from Africa, which is known to have the List A disease not yet ever found in Indonesia. The OIE rules that a country known to have List A diseases is now allowed to export animal or animal materials to a country known to be free from List A disease.

But the experience in the import of ostriches by Indonesia shows that the causes of death to ostriches in the country are ND virus, bacteria and fungus. Ostriches before being exported to Indonesia are required to have ND vaccine in the country of origin and then they are given the same vaccine again in the quarantine in the country if they prove to have low antibody. The government has no restriction on investment in ostrich farming.

Australian farmers look for Indonesian investors

The Ostrich Meat & Marketing Co. Ltd, the largest ostrich breeding company in Australia is inviting Indonesian investors to venture in ostrich farms in that country. The company has opened its agent in Indonesia PT Garanti Ostricom Jayatama (GOJ).

Chuck Dumlao, the business director of GPJ, said each investor is required to invest 12,000 Australian dollars to buy a pair of 6-month old ostriches. The female ostrich will start laying eggs when it is 2.5 or 3 years in age and it will continue to be productive until it reaches the age of 40 years. Each year an investor will have 12 ostriches. If the breeders bought by the investors turned out to be non productive they would be replaced by the company.

With an investment of AUD 12,000, the investor is expected to earn AUD 1,200 a year after the ostrich reaches the productive age. The larger the investment the larger the profit will become.

An investor is expected to be able to recover his investment in 3-4 years. In case something happens to the farmer, the investor would not lose his money as the investment is insured and guaranteed by the Australian govenrment.
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Publication:Indonesian Commercial Newsletter
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Aug 24, 1998

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