The students of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM – Gadjah Mada University) are required to take KKN-PPM to graduate. They would spend two months in a community and help out with village development. A group has decided to do this at the Ngarenan hamlet, Ropoh village, Kepil sub-district, Wonosobo Regency. They reached out to PT. Indmira for some technical assistance, and we answered their request with a program to cultivate strawberry and sunflower, and make organic fertilizer from kitchen wastes.
The workshop takes place on 31 July 2018 at the location and PT. Indmira contingent is led by Mr. Tri Wibowo. The activities start with a lecture on strawberry cultivation. A hands-on practice soon follows so that the participants can experience the planting technique immediately. Strawberry is chosen because of its high economic potential and suitability to the local environment. We hope that the residents of Ropoh will be able to market their strawberry harvests and earn extra incomes.
We also bring them with sunflower seeds to grow around the fields as refuge plants. This technique can reduce the use of pesticide because refuge plants protect crops by releasing chemicals that discourage pests or by becoming a place for predatory insects, such as preying mantis, to live.
The visit is ended with making organic fertilizer from kitchen wastes. By making their own fertilizer, they will be able to spend less on synthetic fertilizers for their gardens and fields. Moreover, this product is environmentally friendly and therefore reduces exposure of toxic materials.
The collaboration with KKN UGM students is always exciting and rewarding. The participants are always enthusiastic to gain new knowledge to improve their livelihood. We hope our contribution will help the residents of Ropoh have better income.
*KKN-PPM (Kuliah Kerja Nyata – Pembelajaran Pemberdayaan Masyarakat) = field study to empower the members of a community