Faculty of Agriculture and Husbandry of the University of Muhammadiyah Malang (FPP-UMM) held National Seminar and Agrocomplex Expo at UMM Dome, for two days, Tuesday-Wednesday (25-26/06). On the first day, there was Agrocomplex Expo followed by 50 stands from the public who exhibited local commodity plant and their handiwork.
At the same time, FPP also held the final of Scientific Writing Competition (LKTI) followed by 17 finalists from Vocational and Senior High School, and the students and research institution from Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bengkulu, Lampung, Central Java, Jogja until Bali with a total of 50 stands. Besides, the agenda was also followed by drum band, massive gymnastics, percussion, and several other agendas.
The Dean of FPP, Dr Damat, MP explained that the exhibition was made as a campaign to decrease imported food dependency, such as wheat flour until fruit. Because after being researched, the foodstuff produced in Indonesia has potential food source which is for the time being, it hasn’t been really noticed by people. For example, in root tubers, especially in sweet potato, its nutrition fact is not less than imported wheat flour.
“However, what becomes the obstacle is how to promote and the trade competition which is done which is not done as great as the promotion of imported wheat flour,” Damat explained.
On the other hand, Damat continued, actually the wheat flour has protein named gluten which is not too good for body health. This is not like sweet potato flour which doesn’t contain gluten. Statistics data in 2012 shows that Indonesia still imports wheat until 7,2 million tons. Meanwhile, the effort which has been done is developing tapioca flour with fermentation, sweet potato, garut and porang tuber that are considered having potency which can live and survive well, although it grows under tree.
“It is impossible for us to stop 100% imported commodity, but at least it can decrease. Therefore, it doesn’t depend on imported food thoroughly,” Damat explained. At least, 20 until 25 % of our ability to decrease the foodstuff dependency.
Besides, the expo was also intended to convey message to the public that the nutrition fact from several local commodities are not less than imported product. As welll as the antioxidant owned by sweet potato. The substance of antioxidant is being sought by middle and upper class people who really care about body health. The sweet potato which is consumed with full of fibre and nutrition can be called as functional foodstuff in which, now, it is famous and not considered anymore as second class food. “There are more people who recognize that we don’t have to consume imported foodstuff and learn to respect local commodity,” Damat said.
This time, the government role should function as the regulator which gives the real policy by giving support to the effort of local commodity production increasing. Thus, it is not merely oriented on the imported food. However, indeed, it doesn’t become long term solution, because in its origin country, wheat is not only used as foodstuff, but also animal feed until biofuel in which someday it is predicted that it will be fought for and there is mark up. At least, we need to hold movement to increase awareness of the strength owned by the local commodity so the reduction of dependency can be realized.
“Meanwhile UMM itself is conducting research, guiding lecturer and taking concrete steps to develop food independency. Community Service (KKN) is also considered being enough to help to develop the local commodity,” he explained. Thus, it is expected to be able to be the annual agenda which is compulsory to be held to make people both inside and outside the campus aware.(nes/masl/nas/t_tys)