Lecturer and students team from Faculty of Biology and Faculty of Agriculture UGM conducted a socialization as well as training regarding orchid cultivation towards the society in Banyunganti hamlet, Jatimulyo Village, Girimulyo, Kulon Progo Regency,
Yogyakarta on Friday (5/5) and Wednesday (24/5). This community service programme aimed to encourage the society in developing orchid potential which naturally grows in the yard and the forest.
“The society does not realize those orchids are a valuable germplasm for their village and some of them have a high economic value. Therefore, those orchids have to be preserved,” said Dr. Endang Semiarti, M.S., M.Sc., head of the team, on Monday (29/5).
Endang said all this while, the society assumed several orchids around them are just wild plants which have no economic value. On the other hand, orchids have a high economic value which can be cultivated to increase the income of the farmers. Moreover, Kulon Progo area has distinctive orchids that have yet to be recognized by the society, which are Dendrobium capra and Caelogyne speciosa.
“It becomes an essential reason to popularize the Kulon Progo orchids in their natural habitat. Their main profession as a farmer can encourage the realization of orchids cultivation because they are already familiar with plants cultivation,” she added.
Endang and her team gave an explanation regarding conventional orchids cultivation. They practiced it with the community assisted by Biological students who joined Biology Orchid Study Club (BiOSC). They will also conduct an in vitro cultivation training in household scale, entrepreneur training, IT training for creating an orchids ecotourism website for Banyunganti Hamlet.
She hopes the cooperation among all parties in these activities can continue and develop. Therefore, Banyunganti area can be developed as an orchids cultivation place as well as tourism spot, particularly by the establishment of the new airport in Kulon Progo which will make mobility easier with a better access.
“The dream to make Banyunganti area as an Orchid Centre in Kulon Progo Regency and Yogyakarta Province was never realized before, and UGM as center of excellence in orchids will keep encouraging the sustainability of this programme,” said Endang.
The socialization on orchids cultivation is one of the activities funded by UGM from ESD implementation programme in the society entitled Biodiversity Conservation in ESD category 2017 and it is managed by the Directorate of Community Services UGM. Besides obtaining supports from various governmental institutions, this socialization also received a positive response from the community.
“The activities are expected to enhance the creativity of the people from Banyunganti hamlet,” said Sutarman, head of Banyunganti hamlet.