UGM Faculty of Biology and Master of Management Program (MM) is developing the potential of natural resources based on research in Kemadang Village, Gunung Kidul regency, to support economic prosperity improvement program of coastal communities. Some of the natural resources potential will be developed, among others, the cultivation of Java chili (piper retrotractum), and utilization of thorny pandanus plants, independent turtle conservation, preservation of the Aaptos marine sponge, and the use of chitosan for anticancer drugs.
As many as 17 groups of farmers and village fishermen, 17 PKK groups, and representatives of youth organization are involved in the dissemination of natural resource utilization which was presented by five Faculty of Biology I-MHERE Project researchers (Indonesia-Managing Higher Education for Relevance and Efficiency). Simultaneously, entrepreneurship training by practitioners of entrepreneurship from MM UGM was also provided.
Slamet Widiono, M.Si., initiator of the activity said that the socialization of natural resources utilization at Kemadang Village aims to apply the research results of the I-MHERE research grants winner. Of the 10 I-MHERE grants winners, five research results have been chosen to be applied in the Kemadang Village.
Slamet said that of the training and mentoring activities end result of this research-based community empowerment 10 SMEs will be chosen to receive revolving capital. "Each SME will receive a fund of 5 million rupiah," said Slamet.
Fahrauk Faramayuda, S.Si. Apt., One of the I-MHERE researchers, delivering one of the results of research on agricultural potential that can be developed in the Kemadang Village is the use of Java chili cultivation potential. This plant is very relevant to be cultivated. Because the soil texture and the height of 600 meters above sea level making it very suitable to be planted in areas near the coast. "In Indonesia, Java chili cultivation is still rare, whereas the market demand is still very high, it’s only developed in four areas, Lampung, Lamongan, Madura and Pacitan. In addition to domestic needs, Java chili is also an export commodity, "he said.
Farouk explain that Java chili is one of the plants known to have a stimulant effect. The hormonal effects of this plant are known as aphrodisiac. Java chili’s fruit is often used as aphrodisiac ingredients because it has androgenic, anabolic, and anti-virus effects, whereas the roots of Java chili are often used as a tonic for uterus after childbirth. Meanwhile, the leaves can be used as a gargle mouthwash. "We will bring in seeds from Madura to be planted here and accompanying its marketing through communication facilitation with the head of Java chili center in Madura," he said.
Another researcher, Retno Widiastuti, said there are 600 species of pandan leaves in Indonesia. Gunung Kidul has the greatest Pandan material potential. "There are 200 species of pandan leaves in mountainous areas and in the areas along the Kukup, Kapen, and Baron beach," she said.
Yet in other areas, pandan has been processed into a variety of crafts, like handbags, various baskets, mats, chairs, and tables. However, in the Kemadang Village these raw materials have not been used as a material that has added value. "We're helping communities in processing technology and manufacturing products as well as the pandan cultivation. Later, designs product for distinctive souvenir made from pandan at Kemadang Village will be established," he said.
Village Mayor of Kemadang, Sutono, said that the community empowerment program to utilize natural resources is expected to improve the welfare of the Kemadang community, which is 80 cent of them worked as a farmers and seasonal fishermen. "It could increase knowledge, income, and skills. By doing so, it also increases the welfare of the community," he said. He mentioned in Kemadang there is around 6800 people or 1636 households. Of these number, some people fall into the under-privileged category.
Researchers who also participated in providing the socialization are Lutfi Nur Hidayat, S.Si. (Reconstruction of turtles breeding for Conservation Tourism Area), Lina Winarti, Apt. (Utilization and Business Opportunities of Chitosan), and Awik Puji D.N, M.Si. (Preservation of Aaptor marine sponges for anti-cancer drugs). Meanwhile the entrepreneurship training is delivered by practitioners and lecturer of MM UGM, Boyke R. Punomo, S.E., M.M.