Ikan Lele or Catfish is a popular commodity around the Sampora-Cisauk, South Tangerang community. Turn it into various kinds of menus, and it sure will always be a favorite meal for old and young. Research conducted in 2018 shows a huge market potential for this freshwater fish.
Research conducted by the Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (AJCUI) Industrial Engineering program found out of more than 100 restaurants in the Sampora-Cisauk and surrounding areas, are have a catfish-based dish on their menus. This fact shows the potential for high demand. If we do the math, imagine that if one restaurant only needs 1 kg of catfish per day, there will be a need for 100 kg catfish per day for the restaurants.
Unfortunately, there are not many breeding ponds in the area to meet high market demands, and if there is, it only a few home-scale businesses. Another thing is, the businesses are solely relying on existing restaurants as their consumers, without realizing lager market that may reach.
Catfish is also a profitable commodity for its low-cost breeding is somewhat cheaper than other fresh fish. Other findings from the research also show that catfish breeding does not require large tracts of land, it means for Sampora Village, which is in the center of a growing city, is likely suitable.
AJCUI realizes that this opportunity will significantly help the economy of the Sampora community. Through the Faculty of Engineering, AJCUI conducts a training program for Family Welfare Empowerment (PKK) women in the village of Sampora. This program is an ongoing assistance program initiated by the Industrial Engineering Program related to community service. This program is an implementation of the Entrepreneurship and Industrial Engineering Product Design courses.
The training provides insights on how to breed catfish and to build a system to support its continuity in a proper environment. The sessions also introduce a processing or preservation method to manage the fishes if the harvest has a surplus, therefore the residents have an alternative product other than selling fresh fish.
The Industrial Engineering Program introduced a fogging method, where the fogging equipment designed by Industrial Engineering students and is currently in the stage of refinement.
Lecturer of Industrial Engineering Program, Ir. Wibawa Prasetya, revealed that by using preservation with fogging methods, catfish could last longer and possibly packed and marketed.
“Our goal is to make Sampora village an industrial center for catfish. We aim to make canned catfish, so later not only canned sardines,” said Wibawa
Today the fogging machine has successfully produced two food products, namely Smoked Catfish and Pare Chips. For the plan of canned catfish, Wibawa said that it would collaborate with the Biotechnology Faculty, related to food technology, “We are not alone. We seek to work with Food Technology study programs in terms of durability, sensory test, and its nutrition, ” he explained.
Not only supported by the Sampora Administrative’ (Kelurahan), this assistance program is also part of the Village Owned Enterprises (BUMDES) program. Through programs like this, AJCUI aims to strengthen the commitment of community empowerment through community service. Wibawa hoped that what was done by the Industrial Engineering program had an impact on the economy of the Sampora village community as the closest neighbor of the AJCUI BSD Campus.