JOGJAKARTA (KU) - UGM opened the handicraft center of natural fiber products in Salamrejo village, Sentolo Subdistrict, Kulon Progo, Monday (9/8). The inauguration was marked by the curtain unveiling ceremony at the entrance gate of the village by Senior Vice Rector of Academic, Research and Community Service of UGM, Prof. Dr. Retno. S. Soedibyo, M.Sc., Apt., witnessed by Vice Regent of Kulon Progo, Drs. Mulyono and Village Head of Salamrejo, R. Harjanto Supadmo.
In her speech, Retno said that by the opening of the center, the craftsmen are expected to compete in selling their products to the world. Despite this, Retno emphasized the craftsmen to pay more attention to product quality control. "If there are no standards of quality control, I think it is difficult to compete. In Indonesia, quality control must take precedence," she said.
Handicraft products made from natural fiber raw materials, according to Retno, have competitiveness in international trade. Moreover, the current trend is toward developing environment-friendly products.
Vice Regent, Drs. Mulyono, welcomed the opening of the handicraft center. He expected that KKN PPM UGM students continue to synergize with communities and governments to do similar things such as that in his Regency. "This program should be continued in the future. By developing natural fibers, the benefit will advantage the community," he said.
The village head of Salamrejo, R. Harianto Supadmo, said that Salamrejo is a village of craftsmen. Almost all the villagers make their living as craftsmen. The opening of the handicraft center is expected to attract tourists to come to the Salamrejo village.
Field Supervising Lecturer, Dr. Arif Wibisono, mentioned that there are about 900 natural fibers craftsmen in Salamrejo. He added that this village is potential to develop as industrial center like ceramics center in Kasongan, Bantul. It can be done through regular training of human resources development, improvement of creativity to innovate products and mastery of Information Technology. "We expect the craftsmen to have showrooms along the road of Salamrejo village," he said.
To support Salamrejo as an industrial center and tourism destination of natural fibers craft, Arif said that KKN PPM UGM students in the last two years not only built physical infrastructure such as gate and industrial center maps as village identity, but also implemented various support programs, such as, work analysis of craftsmen, waste management and natural dyes training, design and innovation development, and training of marketing system and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, there are also work safety and health training, website production and product design championships.