Universitas Gadjah Mada has been requested to help develop tourism and agriculture of the Samosir regency in North Sumatera. The regency has potential destinations that can withdraw domestic and international tourists.
“The central government will build the outer ring road of Samosir island, and we wish UGM to help develop the tourism sector apart from the Toba Lake,” said regent of Samosir, Drs. Rapidin Simbolon, MM., after signing an agreement with Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir. Dwikorita Karwati, M.Sc., Ph.D., on Thursday (2/6).
Regent Rapidin said in addition to the Toba Lake, Samosir has interesting tourism destinations such as natural beauty and cultural attractions. There is a limit, however, in terms of human resource. He requested UGM to also develop this area, moreover that UGM has the student community service programme that has run well in the long run.
“Samosir regency has tourism and agriculture potentials as sector of excellence,” he said. He hoped UGM researchers can drive forward the productivity of agricultural superior products – such as shallots, potato, chili pepper, and fish - in the area that spans as vast as 254,715 ha. “Almost 90 percents of residents make their livings from agricultural sector,” he added.
UGM Rector welcomed this cooperation. She affirmed the UGM would send experts and researchers to North Sumatera to support the development of tourism, agriculture, animal husbandry, and disaster mitigation. Even she is ready to help the mapping of disaster mitigation in the area known as a volcanic island. “Apart from sending experts, UGM will also set up experts panels in that area, those who know their territorry well,” she said.
The Rector addded UGM would continue the programme that has run previously with the Samosir regency, namely student community service for community empowerment. “Through the student and researcher community service, UGM helps educate the people and improve human resource capacity,” she said. She explained the student community service has been effective in building the student’s character as future leaders.