Seram island in Central Maluku has big potential in renewable natural resources, such as coconut trees, cocoa, dammar, and candlenut. This has driven a group of lecturers from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) to make local community empowerment programme so the local people can process this potential further.
Under the Community Resilience and Economic Development (CaRED) UGM programme, a UGM group has been supported with funds through a collaboration between UGM and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for community empowerment in eastern Indonesia. The group consists of Prof. Dr. Ir. Sutardi, MAppSc. (Agricultural Technology), Dr. Ir. Hary Sulistyo and Dr. M. M. Azis, MSc.(Engineering), Dr. Ir. Lestari Rahayu W. (Agriculture), and Drs. Purwanto, MPhil. (Social and Political Sciences).
“The programme will be running in Isu village in TNS Waipia District for 30 months from July 2016 to October 2018,” said Sutardi, Principle Investigator of the group, on Tuesday (4/4).
The programme entitled Empowerment of Central Maluku Regency Community to Promote Sustainability of Small and Medium Scale Integrated Coconut Processing Industry aims to promote local community empowerment for coconut processing as a way to improve their welfare.
Furthermore, Sutardi said with the support from UGM Student Community Service programme running in that area, the CaRED UGM programme is expected to be able to accelerate development and empowerment efforts to secure an independent and prosperous condition for the village through utilisation of local resource potential.
He also hoped the programme would not stop at the end of the set period but would be sustained and replicated in other areas in Indonesia that need special attention.
“Hopefully, the people of eastern Indonesia generally, and the Seram people particularly, can benefit from the UGM efforts to support the government development programme. The success of this programme may be replicated in other villages on Seram island that also have abundant natural resources,” he concluded.