Semuten hamlet, located in Jatimulyo Village, Bantu Regency, is one of the coconut-producing regions. However, this hamlet faces the issue of underutilized coconuts.
Coconuts are generally sold whole at an average price of IDR 4,000 per piece, sometimes left to rot in the orchard. Yet, every household has 16 coconut trees near their homes.
Students from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) have encouraged Semuten residents to process coconuts into value-added products such as virgin coconut oil (VCO), coconut soap, and coconut pulp cookies to improve the economic well-being of the hamlet’s families.
The development of these coconut products is carried out by Invia Etika Zain (Mathematics and Natural Sciences), Francesco Timothy Primaananta (Mathematics and Natural Sciences), Salsabila Amatul Karim (Mathematics and Natural Sciences), Siti Nur Aisyah (Mathematics and Natural Sciences), and Zaid Alfarizi (Economics and Business) through the Student Creativity Program in Community Service, with funding support from UGM and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Invia Zain stated that the program’s goal is to empower the members of Semuten Hamlet’s women, the majority of whom are housemakers, to have an alternative source of income.
These women are taught how to select raw materials, receive training on product manufacturing, engage in production, and properly package and market the products, all led by the UGM students and the local women’s group.
“Through this collaboration, the women of Semuten Hamlet gain new knowledge and skills in processing coconuts into value-added products,” Zain said.
Zaid Alfarizi mentioned that three processed products have high selling prices, and every resident has an average of 16 coconut trees, each producing 20-25 coconuts every two months.
“In addition to providing economic benefits, this program also helps protect the environment,” Alfarizi said.
One of the flagship products of this program is virgin coconut oil (VCO). VCO is produced using an extraction method from fresh coconut meat without heating or adding chemicals.
“VCO has health benefits, such as boosting the immune system and maintaining healthy skin,” Alfarizi said.
The students also created products such as coconut soap and coconut pulp cookies as derivatives of VCO production.
Coconut oil is the base ingredient in coconut soap. It has natural moisturizing properties and can alleviate skin issues like acne or irritation.
Additionally, coconut pulp cookies are made with high-quality ingredients, producing delicious, nutritious, fiber-rich cookies that promote good digestion.
Author: Gusti Grehenson