Started from an “accidental”. Arifin (45) become a pioneer of wild horse milk culivation from Sanoe Village, Woja Subdistrict, Dompu Regency, West Nusa Tenggara. The challenge is how to make the resident not only depending on agriculture as their living.
Wild horse milk from Sanoe Village become famous when one of Arifin’s neighbours sufferd an asthma on 1996. He was told by his parents that wild horse milk could cure some diseases. Then Arifin tried to give wild horse milk to the neighbour to cure the asthma. Unexpectedly the neighbour recoverd after drank the milk routinely.
From that moment, Arifin started the cultivation of wild horse milk slowly. Fortunately, there were officers from ministry of agriculture who collected the milk sample from all over Indonesia for examination purpose on 1998. Arifin was encouraged to send the sample to them, and unexpectedly, his sample was categorized as a special grade.
"from that moment, I think about it seriously. With some neighbours, I started to make a group of horse milk breeder named Usaha Bersama to cultivate the milk together in our village,” said Arifin.
At first, there were only a few people who joined the Usaha Bersama group. There are 30 people who join the group that Arifin started now. They are all farmer and wild horse breeder in Sanoe village. Through the group, they produce and sell wild horse milk in bottles.
Arfin convince that breeding wild horse milk is way more favorable than become a farmer in the village. But it doesn’t mean that they may leave the farm. Because producing wild horse milk is just a side job beside farming. Although just as “a side job”, the income is promising enough.
"A horse can produce 3 litres milk a day. The selling price is Rp. 25.000/litre, then the income from a horse/day is Rp. 75.000. if we have more than a horse, we just need to multiply it with the income,” said Arifin.
The horse tha can produce milk is the horse which is given birth recently. The productive time of the horse is just 6 months in a year. And the productive age of a horse is started from the age 3. And then after 10 years, the breeder need to change the horse with the new one which is ready to produce milk.
If a farmer has 2 horses that can produce milk everyday, the income from the milk would be Rp. 27 million a year. Compared with the income from the farming of a hectare ranch, according to Arifin, the income just about a quarter of the sales of horse milk a year.
Arifin added, caring of a horse is not a hassle. They just let the horses to thepasture that exist in their village. In the afternoon, the horses are entered to the stable fro milking. For the feed, the breeder is not bothered because grass is really abundant in Sanoe village.
"the milk distribution from the village has been spreading out from Sumbawa, that is Java, Borneo, and Sumatra. On the average, our group sell the milk up to 300 litres per month,” said Arifin.
Arifin also guarantee that the quality of the wild horse milk from Usaha Bersama group is guaranteed. The group received 2 awards that related to standard quality of wild horse milk. They achieved a certificate as producer of organic food on 2008 from Indonesian Organic Farming Certification, and certificate of Geographical Indications from Director General of Intellectual Property Law and Human Rights Ministry on 2011.
For Arifin, breeding wild horse milk gives lot of blessings. The income from the milk was able to finance his daughter education until University level. He also have several hectares of ranch that was bought from the sales of the horse milk. He’s just a part time teacher at SMP Negeri 7 Woja.
Though breeding wild horse milk is giving him a real income, according to Arifin, not all his neighbours in Sanoe Village have a willing to join him as breeder. From around 70 families of Sanoe Village, only 30 of them who become wild horse milk breeder.
"perhaps they are already comfortable with farming. Whereas breeding milk is not consuming so much time because we just have to release the horses to the pasture,” hesaid.
Arifin also has socialized the advantaged of breeding wild horse milk to the Sanoe Village residence. But not all of the seems intersested. Whereas, the sales prospect of the horse milk is promising enough and it’s worked without leaving their main job as a farmer.
According to Mansyur Ismail (57), Secretary of Usaha Bersma Group, one of the unwillingness factors of Sanoe Village residence to breed horse is lack of fund. The fund is needed to buy the horse who ready to produce milk, about Rp. 6 million.
"Beside that, the fund also needed to regenerate the horse wich is not productive anymore. It seems that the people are hard to collect the fund to buy horses. We also do not know how to borrow money from bank to get the fund,” said Mansyur.
Either Arifin or Mansyur hope that the government is willing to develope their business to be better again. Giving fund to buy horses is the support that they hope the most. For the marketing, they haven’t found any problem yet.
Wild horse milk is the alternative income for Sanoe Village farmers who depend on the rice yields. If it’s developed seriously, the cultivation of horse dairy can increase the income of the village farmers.
Source: Kompas, 7 October 2013