Yogyakarta- Indonesia is rich of orchids (Orchidaceae). The number of orchids is more than 5000 species spread all over Indonesia. Unfortunately, many species are almost extinct or has been extinct particularly due to illegal logging. Vanda foetida orchid (South Sumatera) is one of examples of this kind.
This condition became the concern of researchers from Faculty of Biology UGM. Since year 1976, Faculty of Biology UGM has been serious to cultivate and conserve orchids. The similar program up to now is still conducted through Seminar of Research Result Integrated-Collaborative Research Grant on Tropical Orchids Indonesia Managing Higher Education For Relevance and Efficiency (I-MHERE) held on Friday (17/12) at Administrative Building, Faculty of Biology.
According to Dr. Budi S. Daryono, M. Agr. Sc, Person In Charge (PIC) for I-MHERE Project, for year 2010 UGM received DIKTI grant as much as 9 billion rupiah for three years period. The grant will be given to six recipients to conduct research about orchids. The recipients aree lecturers and students of graduate program of UGM Faculty of Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, Purwodadi Botanical
Garden, Lambungmangkurat University, Hasanuddin University and Cenderawasih University.
“For 2010, the grant reaches nine billion rupiah for six recipients. But the center is still Faculty of Biology UGM,” said Budi on the sidelines of the Seminar.
Budi added that the seminar also presented experts on orchid such as Dr Irawati, M.Sc (Bogor Botanical Garden, Indonesian Research Institute (LIPI), Dr Didik Widyatmoko, M.Sc (Head of Cibodas Botanical Garden, LIPI) and Dr. Ir. Aziz Purwantoro, M.Sc (Faculty of Agriculture UGM).
Budi explained that apart from being caused by illegal logging, orchid extinction is due to the minimum awareness and knowledge of community on orchid cultivation. Therefore, the knowledge and education on orchid cultivation is important to be given. Up to now, the community only knows about how to collect and sell the orchid from nature.
“Up to now, people only know about how to collect and sell the orchids without knowing how to cultivate and conserve them, so they need education,” Budi added.
Budi emphasized that orchid development is potential to do. Besides being utilized as expensive decorative plant, orchid currently is also used as herbal medicine. Regional governments in Indonesia are able to develop orchids well so that it can be an alternative for tourism.
“In the era of regional autonomy, the role of regional government is quite important to be able to develop this orchid, for example for alternative tourism,” said Budi who is famous for his Gama Melon research. He was trying that the result or output of the seminar would be published in International Journal, or being copied to be made a reference of orchid development in Indonesia later on.