Faculty of Agriculture UGM, Central Java Agriculture and Horticulture Agency, and PT. HERO Tbk department stores jointly launched the products of MERBABU, which are produced by farmers that are assisted by UGM. The launching of the products was held in Magelang regency, Central Java, on Tuesday (21/9).
Central Java Governor through the Head of Central Java Agriculture and Horticulture Agency, Ir. Suryo Banendro, MP., welcomed the launch well since the product has been successfully accepted at the large outlets, such as PT. HERO Supermarket Tbk.
“This launch signifies the better the campus community service is. Together with related agencies, various products such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beet horseradish, cayenne and others are received by the market,” said Ir. Suryo Banendro, MP.
Suryo Banendro said that as many as 25 items weighing 1.5 tons – 2 tons of agricultural products was produced each month. Those products have been marketed at some outlets such as Giant department stores in Magelang and Yogyakarta.
With this success, all is expected not to get complacent. The current program only focuses in the area of Ngablak and Pakis of Magelang. The program is expected to be expanded further.
“In future, we expect outlets to have one hundred percent organic program. Under this system, soil fertility is maintained while organic products have higher value and preferred by export market,” he said.
UGM Director of Community Services, Prof. Ir. Irfan Dwidya Prijambada, M. Eng., Ph.D., said that to produce a good product alone is not enough because it still needs marketing strategy. Producing goods, said Irfan, is much easier than selling the goods. Therefore, Faculty of Agriculture and Central Java Agriculture and Horticulture Agency formed a cooperation with PT. HERO Tbk. They agreed to provide guidance as well as marketing of agricultural products.
Arif Istanto, Director of Corporate Affairs, Industrial Relations and Risk Management of PT. Hero Supermarket Tbk., added that the agricultural sector in Magelang has a great chance to be developed. Therefore, PT Hero supermarket welcomed the farmer program development by the Faculty of Agriculture and the Agriculture and Horticulture Agency.
“By improving and developing the potential of agricultural products, agricultural yields will be absorbed and marketed in our stores,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ir. Sri Nuryani Hidayah Utami, MP., M.Sc, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture UGM, described the coaching was started by involving 20 farmer groups. PT. Hero Supermarket donated tools such as wrapping, steel table and post-harvest handling.
“The harvest should be done at the precise time. Because, if we wait for the market price to rise, the products would have low quality. In fact, to be marketed at the supermarket, the products must have high quality,” she said.
The launching of agricultural products was symbolized by beating the gongs by the Head of the Agriculture and Horticulture Agency. This was followed by signing of the cooperation agreement between UGM, PT. Hero Supermarket, and Agriculture and Horticulture Agency, as well as the provision of credit to farmers by Bank of Central Java.