A group of UGM students involved in the Student Creativity Program for Community Service conducted an empowerment activity for a women’s group in Bendung Village, Gunungkidul Regency.
They provided training for non-working homemakers to process the abundant potential of sorghum into processed products like nutritious brownies and cookies, which also hold economic value.
“Sorghum, as one of the functional food ingredients, has benefits in preventing diseases related to the immune system, endocrine, nerves, digestive system, circulatory system, and more. This food ingredient has great potential for development,” said team member Luthfita Keysha.
She explained that Bendung Village has potential sorghum plants. Still, the number of cultivated plants is relatively less than paddy and corn commodities. This, she stated, is because most villagers do not know how to utilize the sorghum harvest.
Observing the potential products that could be derived and coupled with the enthusiasm of the women’s group to process sorghum into beneficial products, the students took the initiative to organize training activities.
They chose processed products like brownies and cookies as these snack items are popular across various age groups.
Using sorghum flour as the main ingredient, according to Kesya, could enhance the nutritional value of the food.
“We see the potential of sorghum plants containing about 11-13% protein and around 3.4% fat content, alongside carbohydrate availability, not inferior to the content found in rice,” she said.
The program received positive responses from the participants. The women also presented many innovative ideas during the program. The village administrators also appreciated the students’ program.
“With the reintroduction of sorghum cultivation, we hope this will be the starting point for developing the potential of sorghum,” said Eka Puji, Secretary of Bendung Village.
Kesya and her three colleagues, Arlita Tanzila, Elysa Umiati, and Zahra Raihananda, carried out this Student Creativity Program activity. Besides providing training, they also provided a guidebook for developing sustainable long-term programs.
They hope that in the future, the women’s group can independently and productively develop the economic value of local resources into signature products of Bendung Village, where the sales proceeds can be distributed back to the involved community.
By establishing a cooperative system and forming an organizational structure, this group can also handle the legality of the processed sorghum production, termed “Desa Prima” (Prime Village).
Author: The Sorghum Training Team