MAGELANG - UGM students and nine students of Ehime University Japan plant 540 Neem trees in Wonolelo village, Sawangan, Magelang. The planting of Neems (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) is intended as pest controller and drug for various kinds of plant diseases. Neem’s leaves and seeds are efficacious as pesticides and insecticides because they contain Azadirachtin. Neems powder can be efficacious as green manure for its Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium contents.
Harimurti Buntaran, a student of Agricultural Cultivation, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Gadjah Mada, said the neem planting aims to support the concept of sustainable agricultural development by inviting community to reduce the use of chemicals. "The effects of fertilizer and chemicals are damaging the soil, reducing fertility and leaving residue on the leaves," said the Unit 40 Coordinator of KKN PPM, Sunday (12/8).
By reducing chemicals, Harimurti said, Wonolelo’s agricultural products can get healthier. He added that the neem tree seedlings were planted in three hamlets: Pelem, Wonodadi, and Surodadi. In the next 1-2 years, the trees can be used by farmers in the three hamlets. Previously, the students together with the communities built healthy seed and organic fertilizer houses.
Agricultural Cultivation Lecturer, Dr. Ir. Taryono, M.Sc., said the tree planting is one of KKN PPM UGM programs in collaboration with Ehime University students. In Wonolelo, the participation of Japanese students in the program of KKN PPM has lasted for nearly two years. "One of their activities is on volcanic eruption mitigation," Taryono said.
Migumi Ikarimoto, 21 years old, a Hiroshima-born student said she and students from three Faculties at Ehime University provide counseling and training in disaster mitigation for elementary school students. "We teach students on how to evacuate from Merapi during eruption disaster as what has been done in Japan," she said.
She is happy to join the KKN PPM program in Wonolelo, not only enjoying the amazing rural scenery but also being able to mingle with the people. "I'm getting to know the life of rural communities in Indonesia," said the youngest of two siblings.
Wonolelo Village Head, Sumadi, said most of Wonolelo people live from agriculture. Therefore, programs that support public knowledge about agriculture are needed. "The science taught by the students from UGM and Japan can bring benefits to the villagers," he said.