Young jackfruit which is the main ingredient for Yogyakarta’s local dish – gudeg – is running short as the demand has outnumbered the supply. As a result, people need to bring it in from outside Yogyakarta.
This has encouraged the UGM researchers led by Prof. Mohammad Na’iem to do genetic selection to meet the need from domestic genetic resources. Jackfruit tree has in fact an extensive spread from Bangladesh to Indonesia in Asia.
Na’iem collected genetic materials from 398 host trees in 11 provinces Java, Bali, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Sumatra.
Along with Directorate General of Forestry of Ministry, Faculty of Forestry UGM realised local superior trees in Plot 58 RPH Candi in Gunung Kidul regency where genetic materials were planted. With a total of 12,736 individuals, Prof Na’iem and team tried out the materials on the field.
The tree growing well has caught the attention of former Forestry Minister, Djamalludin Suryohadikusuma, and Prakoso who later visited the plot and gave positive responses.
By the end of 2018, the location has become the jackfruit seed parks of Yogyakarta. Along with BPDAS Serayu Opak Progo(SOP), the Faculty developed the Nangka (jackfruit) village in Jati Ayu, Kali Tekuk and Ponjong.
On 21 Desember 2018, a declaration was made to preserve the tradition of people of Yogyakarta to plant jackfruit trees. This coincided with the tree planting day and restoration of river basins in 2018 across Indonesia.
“The next program is to commercialise research products in the form of seeds and non-timber forest products, integrated with the development projects done by Wanagama forest,” said Dr. Muhammad Ali Imron, Vice-Dean of Research and Community Service.
Na’iem also hoped the plot location could be integrated with the development of tourism in Gunung Kidul for special interests and be made Indonesia’s model for forest development and learning.