There are 20 students of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences Faculty Of Science, University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, conducting Tropical Agriculture Program at UGM from 29 June – 14 July 2015. They are led by Prof. Rob Cramb, Professor of Agricultural Development, Deputy Head, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, and Associate Prof. Max Shelton, Assistant Lecturer, Dr. Heyley Giles as well as administration officer, Ms. Sharon Weatherbay.
Prof. Siti Subandiyah, programme coordinator, said the project consisted of lectures on agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry and agricultural technology given by UGM lectures, such as Prof. Masyhuri, Prof. Irfan DP., Prof. I Gede Suparta Budisatria, Prof. Eni Harmayani, Dr. Ngadiman, Dr. Joko Nugroho, Dr. F. Trisakti Hariyadi, Ir. Anjal Ani Asmara, MP, and Ir. Handojo Hadi Nurjanto, MAgrSc.
Siti said on Wednesday (22/7) for the UQ students, agriculture in Yogyakarta and Central Java which is a small holder farm is a unique model of farming, different from that Australia. It is interesting for them because rice cultivation in the small plot here in one year can produce up to 6-7 tonnes/hectare/season or 20 tonnes/hectare/year, while in Australia the productivity is up to 12 tonnes/hectare/year in one harvest only.
“If the Australian productivity of 12 tonnes/hectare/season can be adopted here, it is highly possible that we don’t need to do rice imports any longer,” she said.
Those students were also surprised by the contribution made by UGM to society through mentoring given by lecturers to farmer groups.
“For two days the UQ students joined the student community service programme (KKN UGM) at Semin village in Gunung Kidul regency. They also participated in activities to learn tourism and culture around Yogyakarta,” Siti explained.
UGM students also joined this programme, allowing interaction between students from the two continents. This is beneficial for learning and education for both. Research collaboration is also expected to emerge among lecturers.