Tolikara Regency is among regencies in Papua Province having rich natural resources from the agricultural, forestry, agro-industrial, mining and tourism sectors. The natural forest of Tolikara is known for having many tree species that produce essential oils, such as Masoi (Cryptocarya massoia (Oken) Kosterm.), Cinnamon/Akar Lawang (Cinnamomum spp), Ylang-Ylang/Cananga (Cananga odorata) and Spiked Pepper/sirih hutan (Piper aduncum L.).
In supporting the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, SEAMEO BIOTROP Natural Products Laboratory held an internship program for the SMKN Tolikara. Six students of SMKN Tolikara actively participated in this 2-month event. The internship materials were the distillation of essential oil of Masoi tree barks and the making of the perfume, as well as aromatherapy soap bars and liquid soap by using the essential oil extracted from the Masoi tree barks.
Masoi was chosen as the primary commodity in this internship program for SMKN Tolikara because Tolikara Regency is rich with Masoi tree barks. David, an internship student of SMKN Tolikara, mentioned that people in his village sell around 10 tonnes of Masoi tree barks monthly. The Masoi tree barks are sold in Jayapura City. It needs a 24-hour road trip from David’s village to Jayapura City, causing the high transportation cost of selling Masoi tree barks which leads to the expensive price of Masoi tree barks.
The internship program for SMKN Tolikara was held to increase the capacity of human resources in the Tolikara Regency. It is expected that the technology learned by the students at SEAMEO BIOTROP can be directly implemented in the school and the Tolikara Regency. “In this internship program at SEAMEO BIOTROP, I have learned a lot about the technology of essential oil distillation from Masoi tree barks, along with the technology for making perfume, soap bars and liquid soap by using Masoi essential oil,” stated Agriva, an internship student of SMKN Tolikara. She further mentioned that she will convey her knowledge to her school and communities in her home village.
Overall, the capacity building of human resources in the Tolikara Regency is expected to develop the utilization of natural resources toward the production of semi-finished goods or finished goods as merchandise for improving the livelihood of communities in the Tolikara Regency. This effort should be supported by appropriate technology of handling, manufacturing, packaging, storing, marketing and distributing. (sis, hcn).