YOGYAKARTA-Before the eruption of Mt. Merapi, dairy products are the main product of Boyong sub-village in Hargobinangun, Pakem, Sleman regency. Boyong residents mostly have livelihood as dairy farmers, with the daily milking result reached to 2000 liters. However, due to the eruption of Merapi, the dairy product plummeted and has low resale value. Based on that condition, the UGM Graduate Student Association (HMP) Recovery Team, held a dairy products processing training to produce "milk candy" for about 30 housewives in Boyong so that the sale value of milk increased.
According to the team leader, Jefri Pranata, accompanied by chief of environmental division, Laily Agustina R, approximately 15 students who joined in the HMP have been cooperating with KPP Pangestu Mirikebo Pakem group to provide training for the community of Boyong for 3 months. In addition to the delivery of material, the public will also conduct hands-on milk candy making.
"We're trying to do the mentoring, training, up to the marketing of the milk candy from dairy products so that they will have more economic value," said Jefri at the residence of Sogimun, village head of Boyong, Thursday (17/3). The training was also attended by monitoring and evaluation team representatives from the Ministry of Research and Technology as sponsor.
Jefri said the activity carried out is just the initial phase of the program planned by the division of livestock products processing. It is expected that these efforts will stimulate the socio-economic recovery of Boyong society after the eruption of Merapi.
Meanwhile, Sogimun said before the eruption of Merapi, the circulation of money from the dairy processing was around Rp 100-150 million each month. However, after the eruption it could be said that the business activities of dairy product had stopped completely. Of 257 families who had about 500 cows, currently they have only about 300 cows.
"We’re totally out of production. Some cows died, some were sold cheaply so the initial capital ran out. If you want to sell sand, the price is still cheap," said Sogimun.
Sogimun admitted, up until now they still encountered some problems in their village after the eruption of Merapi, especially the lack of water supply from the Boyong River. Even if it is available, the water contains iron so it is not healthy to drink.
"Yes, some assisstance is already available like PVC, rations, and drill wells, but the water still contains iron," he said.
In the same place, Sri Astuti told workshop participants about dairy benefits, such as to neutralize poisons, to add to beauty, to prevent high bloodpressure and heart problems, and to improve visual acuity. Milk, said Sri, is easily damaged so that it needs be modified into other products to make it long lasting, such as milk candy, milk crackers, milk pasta and ice cream.
"To make it long lasting, it can be processed into other products such as this milk candy or crackers," said Sri.
The milk candy has many advantages and virtually no risk. Candy can be made at any time because plenty of raw materials are available. The technology used is simple and can be stored for up to one year.
"Besides, it can certainly increase the earnings, especially currently in the market the supply of milk candy is also not much," she said.
To make the milk candy, the required equipment is a stove, frying pan, stirrer, plastic tray and plastic roasting spit. About three liters of milk, six hundred grams of sugar and one tablespoon of margarine are required. Training participants who were housewives and young teenagers seemed enthusiastic. They also had the opportunity to directly try to make that milk candy.