Youth Organization and Food Security
As directed by Minister of Social Affairs, Juliari P. Batubara, Youth Organization as one of the Social Pillars continues to help to prevent and deal with COVID-19 in the community including disseminating and educating, disinfecting spraying, distributing masks, and assisting the distribution of social assistances and services from various parties.
However, Karang Taruna's progress is not only focused on activities to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also anticipates food security. COVID-19 has caused some people to find it difficult to get nutritious food, while nutrition is needed to enhance immunity. Social assistance is certainly not always available for long term. Therefore, it is important to strengthen people's food security, starting from home.
Some Youth Community have actually started this food security effort since before the COVID-19 outbreak. Karang Taruna Kampung Empat Kota Tarakan, North Kalimantan, for example, runs an Organic Vegetable Economic Productive Business (UEP). "The hydroponic method of the NFT system was chosen because the soil conditions here are not good for vegetables and the weather is also extremely hot," said Sugeng Widarno, Head of Karang Taruna Kampung Empat.
During this pandemic, vegetables produced by Karang Taruna Kampung Empat were very useful because they were sold to the community with very cheap prices that worth Rp. 5000 / package contents 3 bunch of vegetables. Comparing with the prices of hydroponic organic vegetables at the supermarket near your home. This price can be obtained because Karang Taruna Kampung Empat utilizes various used items in its hydroponic garden.
To educate the community, this Youth Organization utilizes the house yard located on Jalan Sei Berantas RT 01 to become a demonstration plot (Demplot) with various food commodities, especially vegetables. This demonstration plot is also a place of learning, so that these things can attract the interest of the community so they will do the same thing.
Thus, Youth Organization motivates the community to be more productive. Besides, Karang Taruna Kampung Empat also supplied fresh vegetables to the medical team at the local hospital to appreciate their hard work against COVID-19 in their neighborhood.
UEP Food is also run by Youth Organization in Cibinong. For the last two years, they have been implementing Ledamber cultivation (catfish in a bucket) combined with water spinach and pakcoy aquaponics. During this pandemic, ledamber becomes one of the effective and efficient alternatives to be implemented at home. It is because the capital is very cheap, the maintenance is very easy, and the results not only for personal needs but it can also be sold to increase economic income.
Karang Taruna Cibinong Subdistrict is open to anyone who wants to learn or start this ledamber business. Beside ledamber, Youth Organization also has biofloc that is used for the cultivation of catfish, tilapia, and pomfret. The prospects of ledamber seems to be great, many large-scale buyers will await. But the focus is not only on a business, as stated by the person in charge of the activity namely Dian Asmara, "I don't want all of this fish to be bought up. I have to provide food supplies also for the community. Anyone who needs fish for side dishes at home please come, they can as much as the capital," said Dian. Some biofloc are also provided for community members who want to learn and practice fish farming directly.
Economic activities to support community food security are also carried out by Karang Taruna of Setiabudi District. They choose a simpler way as a seller. Working closely with farmers, they sell chickens for Rp. 23000 / head with a weight of about 1 kg. At the same time, the price of such a heavy chicken on the market is still in the range of Rp. 30,000 / head. Karang Taruna other regions are also pleased to order for residents in their neighborhood.
Other Youth Organizations also encourage food security by directly implementing to the community which started from zero. They educated people about the importance of growing their own vegetables in the home yard, then distributed seeds and planting media. One of them is Karang Taruna Kel. Ngagel Rejo, Wonokromo District, Surabaya City under the leadership of Cak Robby. Previously they used verticulture but later switched to polybags because it was cheaper and had better production results. Water spinach plants were chosen for the first trial because they could be harvested within 14 days so that it was expected to motivate the community to grow vegetables again in a sustainable manner.
Karang Taruna Mekar Pandega Village, Gari Village, Wonosari District, Gunung Kidul, Special Region of Yogyakarta also carry out similar activities. More massively, they are promoting vegetable growing activities through the Village Food Festival with the theme "Omahku Lumbung Panganku (my house is my breadbasket)". Karang Taruna cooperates with Gari Village Government to activate the Village Food Security Movement with the motto "Nandur apa sik dipangan, mangan apa sik ditandur (plant what is eaten, and eat what is planted)".
The Head of Karang Taruna Mekar Pandega, Septian Nurmansah explained, "This activity is a joint initiation in seeking planting and utilizing crops to meet daily needs as well as sharpening mutual sensitivity. They distributed spinach and long bean seeds, eggplant seeds, chillies and tomatoes, along with the planting media to 1900 families in Gari Village.
The examples above are only a part of Karang Taruna's progress in order to strengthen food security of Indonesian people. In such a difficult situation, it is increasingly apparent how Youth Organization does not give up and instead becomes more eager to think and act to empower the community. From food security activities, people are not only encouraged to meet their needs more independent, but also more productive to supply their incomes.
Many extraordinary ideas are behind the actions that might be seem simple. Distributing seeds, encouraging people to cultivate fish and vegetables, selling produce at low prices, giving healthy vegetables to the medical team. It may not be an amazing innovation, but many rupiahs can be saved by the public, especially in this economic difficult situation.
In addition, the condition of the body becomes better by eating vegetables and fish that are clean and fresh, so it will be more resistant to get an illness. Moreover, it is not just an amazing innovation that should be appreciated, but also how persistence and consistency of Youth Organization strives voluntarily in order to maintain and empower people to survive in the midst of a pandemic.