Bernardus Bala deRosari,Bonar Marulitua Sinaga,Nunung Kusnadi and Mohamad Husein Sawit
The farm household’s behavior in deciding to purchase production input, conduct production activities, and offer output represents the household’s economic activities. This study about input demand and cattle production by farm households aims to discover the cattle business production value structure, the farm household’s behavior in production, and cattle business labor demand. The study was conducted in 8 villages throughout Kupang District and South Timor Tengah District, East Nusa Tenggara Province. These two districts are cattle production center districts. Data were collected between April and June 2013 by interviewing 178 respondents which were divided into two groups, households on dryland ecosystems (128 households) and households on wetland ecosystems (50 households). The study results showed that the cattle fattening business gave a relatively low profit compared to the labor share during the fattening period. Farm household persist in conducting this aspect of the business because of the limited job opportunities and social prestige. Household behavior in cattle production and production input demand are influenced by input price, especially yearling price and cattle price, labor, and the availability of credit and capital support which is differentiated based on agroecosystem zones. Increasing the income of farm households which are involved in the cattle business can be done by a) implementing yearling price and cattle determination regulations according to the standard and weight of the cattle, b) applying technological innovations in cattle fattening, especially technology to provide feed in the dry season (e.g. silage), c) the presence of other economic activities to keep the farmers busy during the cattle fattening period.