UNAIR NEWS – Amid uncertain individual economy and income due to COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest challenges for society is maintaining food security. It inspired Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) Community Service Program (KKN) Group 301 to reactivate the ‘Loving Neighbors’ program in Pulung Merdiko Village, Pulung Sub-district, Ponorogo Regency.
The Loving Neighbors Program is a program of Pulung Merdiko Village, which was initiated by the head of the village. Group Leader Tony Pradibta (FEB) revealed that the village has great potential for Kitchen Resilience Movement which is also being intensified by Ponorogo Regency government.
“The program was initiated in 2019. But, it stopped. Therefore, we are trying to revive the program, ” he said.
The main idea of the program, taking place from June 29, 2020 to July 25, 2020, was to invite each house to grow vegetables as independent consumption and to barter between neighbors for crops they want.
Therefore, the main agenda carried out by KKN team was dissemination, workshops, distribution of plant seeds, and training in vegetable planting in polybags. They started by conducting a dissemination at the village level, then together they invited the women to attend workshops and training on vegetable planting in the gardens and polybags.
During the activity, the participants were very enthusiastic especially in the discussion with representatives of farmer groups. Both participants and presenters shared their experiences, tips, and information about gardening and hydroponics.
Furthermore, the KKN team invited residents to practice directly and distribute various types of plant seeds such as chili, celery, eggplant, and shallots. The activities carried out around the fish ponds and nurseries in Pulung Village were also conducted in the form of competitions so that villagers become even more enthusiastic.
“Well, later when planting has produced vegetables that can be consumed, we encourage residents to barter for excessive harvest,” said a member of the team, Naura Ardianasari from FISIP.
The barter system is an important point because it is projected to be able to meet food needs independently, reduce food costs, reduce family food costs, and of course achieving food security at the village level.
The KKN team also formed an online group on Whatsapp to provide assistance and supervision after the workshop and training program carried out. They consider that optimization and sustainability are very important to support the success of the program.
“In the future, we hope that the ‘Loving Neighbors’ program can get the attention of the sub-district government, whether in the form of assistance with fertilizers, seeds, education, and others. But of course we hope that this program will be bigger so Pulung Merdiko Village can be a reference in the field of food security, “said Triska Aulia (FEB) as deputy of the team.
In addition to Loving Neighbors program, the KKN, with team members Desya Anisa (FH), Mayasari (FISIP), Hayu Kinanthi (FST), Mahliga Reza (FIB), Septiadita (FPK), and Widya Puspatiara (FPK) also participated in disseminating dengue fever eradication, garbage management, until online education on COVID-19. All activities were carried out in accordance with social distancing health protocols . (*)
Author: Intang Arifia
Editor: Feri Fenoria