FH PKM Team Introduces Verticulture and “Katokkon” Chilli Planting Method in Sumbermanjing Kulon Village

Brawijaya University students who are members of the Student Creativity Program Team for Community Service (PKM-PM) initiated solutions to problems related to the kitchen spice plant crisis in Sumbermanjing Kulon Village, Pagak District, Malang Regency. The team, consisting of four students from the Faculty of Law, successfully passed the PKM-PM selection and will later be ready to compete in the 36th Pimnas at Padjadjaran University, Bandung, West Java at the end of November 2023.

The PKM Ladang Berbagi Bersama team which will take part in Pimnas competition at Padjadjaran University, Bandung | Photo: Shalsa

The four students from the Faculty of Law are members of the “Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team” chaired by Shalsa Bila Agustina (FH 2022) consisting of Dhenasya Sukma Hardaningtyas (FH 2021), Sinatrya Vian Firdaus (FH 2022), and Nico Ari Wijaya (FH 2022) . While taking part in the 2023 Pimnas competition they were guided by Rumi Suwardiyati, S.H., M.Kn. and Daru Adianto, S.H., M.T.

In this activity they raised the idea of overcoming the critical problem of kitchen spice plants by providing education on land use and land management processes in Sumbermanjing Kulon Village. The management focus that they introduced to the people of Sumbermanjing Kulon were plants that are often used for kitchen spices, namely chili plants, garlic and shallots. Kitchen spice plants were chosen because according to the PKM Team, the Sumbermanjing Kulon community had insufficient knowledge in managing agricultural land.

Another reason is that Sumbermanjing Kulon Village is a lowland area that often experiences flooding, is in a dry mountainous area, and most of the area is infertile land, so according to the PKM Team, the village is quite difficult to grow kitchen spices. Even though Sumbermanjing Kulon Village is one of the villages in Malang Regency which has very large land potential due to the large amount of empty land around residents’ houses, this land is not being utilized properly due to the lack of knowledge of land management using certain methods to produce fruit or vegetables.

Based on these conditions, the students felt that efforts needed to be adapted to geographical conditions and the potential of local village communities were needed to develop it. Seeing this problem, the Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team took the idea of introducing one of the very hot chili plants, namely katokkon chili (Capsicum annum L.var.sinensis) which comes from Tana Toraja.

After conducting experiments involving local residents using the verticulture method, it was found that the plants could grow and bear fruit well. It is known that this plant was the first chili to grow successfully in East Java.

Experimental planting process using the verticulture method | Photo: Shalsa

With the educational activities carried out by Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team, it is hoped that Sumbermanjing Kulon Village can become a village with strong household food security as well as become a model village in alleviating the food crisis. The concept of sustainable agriculture offered by Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team is through the verticulture planting method, especially regarding kitchen spice plants. Through this method, it can later be developed to explore the agricultural or plantation potential of village communities.

Kariyuti, as Head of Sumbermanjing Kulon Village, expressed his feelings regarding the arrival of PKM-PM Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team. According to him, the arrival of PKM students from Brawijaya University really helped improve the skills of village residents regarding the method of planting chilies and shallots using the verticulture method that they had just learned about. He revealed that the verticulture method had proven to be very effective in developing a model for planting kitchen spice plants. In this way, Kariyuti plans to continue and develop the program that was started by Brawijaya University students. The hope is that with this development plan, Sumbermanjing Kulon Village can become a role model village for other villages.

Bambang, as the Chair of Lentera Karya Youth Organization, Sumbermanjing Kulon, also plans to help develop the program that was initiated by the students of Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team. Because according to him, if the program is managed and developed well, it will bring added value to the people of Sumbermanjing Kulon Village.

Discussion activities at Sumbermanjing Kulon Village Hall | Photo: Shalsa

“PKM-PM friends have carried out outreach and are very helpful, hopefully in the future the plants supervised by PKM-PM (students) will be sustainable and bring added value for the people of Sumbermanjing Kulon,” said Bambang to Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team.

Shalsa as Team Leader also has high hopes that program they have introduced to Sumbermanjing Kulon community will have a sustainable impact and economic benefits. According to him, the outcome that Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team wants to realize is the fulfillment of the basic needs of village communities obtained from kitchen spice plants such as chilies and shallots. In addition, Shalsa also hopes that in the future the village community will have the independence to develop planting skills using the verticulture method they initiated.

“We have high hopes for the sustainability of Ladang Berbagi Bersama program so that it can continue to benefit the residents of Sumbermanjing Kulon Village and increase the fulfillment of basic needs, namely chilies and shallots, as well as being able to develop skills in planting using the verticulture method that we have guided,” said Shalsa.

The program carried out by Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team has been running for six weeks starting from July 1 2023 to October 15 2023 with a total of ten visits. During that time, Ladang Berbagi Bersama Team continued to strive to empower Sumbermanjing Kulon village community to develop the village’s economic potential. (SLS/END/OKY/UB PR/ Trans. Iir)