Universitas Brawijaya (UB) receives a community service grant. UB through the Faculty of Agricultural Technology (FTP) receives Australia Grant Scheme Round 1 2021 from the Australian Government which is managed by Australia Awards in Indonesia, an institution that aims to support positive contributions between Australia and Indonesia.
In this grant, FTP Lecturer Hendrix Yulis Setyawan, STP, M.Si, PhD, said that UB receives grant funds that will be used for community development at the lowland of Mount Arjuno, East Java, with the title Sustainable Development of Forest-based Community at Arjuno Mountain, Malang.
According to Hendrix as the project leader, this grant is used for sustainable forest management, in collaboration with the community around UB Forest, an educational forest located in Sumberwangi Village, Karangploso, Malang Regency.
“The people around UB Forest are mostly coffee cultivators and cattle breeders. These coffee farmers do not own land, their houses are on UB’s land, electricity access and clean energy sources is very limited, so that it can be seen from the community’s perspective, they really need help,” said the lecturer of the Agricultural Industrial Technology Study Program.
Besides empowering coffee farmers, the group consisting of Hendrix Yulis Setyawan, STP,, M.Si, PhD, Prof. Dr. Ir. Imam Santoso, MP, Sri Suhartini, STP, M.Env.Mgt, PhD and Nimas Mayang Sabrina Sunyoto, STP, M.Sc, MP, PhD, will also create an Energy Independent Village based on agriculture and livestock with a sustainable system.
“In the beginning, the target was to promote sustainable farming models. The concept is we help the community around UB Forest to manage their surrounding environment in a sustainable manner,” he said.
Assistance after the program will be carried out by the Faculty of Agricultural Technology (FTP).
The Dean, Prof. Imam Santoso said that FTP also contributed to funding as a third party for international service programs such as AGS, since the activities carried out are very closely related to FTP’s scientific background and as a form of FTP’s tri-dharma.
Besides having coffee potential, this area is also used for cattle raising by the residents.
The sustainable model offered is by maximizing community cattle farming to meet energy needs and reduce wasted waste.
“The plan is that biogas installations will be built at the farming location, the results of it can be used by residents as a source of energy for cooking,” said Imam.
Meanwhile, the remaining fermented fertilizer from the biogas unit can be used for coffee plantations.
The use of this fertilizer will benefit UB Forest since the fertilizer used is organic, and it can reduce the excessive use of chemical fertilizers that can potentially damage the planting land in several areas. The price of organic coffee produced can also increase so that it benefits both parties, both farmers as cultivators and UB Forest as land owner.
Cattle farms in this area will also benefit since they get additional income and also the availability of forage in UB Forest that can be utilized. The surrounding community is also helped by the availability of clean energy that can be used for cooking, so that land productivity will benefit all parties. (VQ/Humas UB/ Trans. Iir)