Prospects of Sayang Heulang Beach as an Agro-Tourism Destination

Oleh Adi Permana

Editor Adi Permana

Source: detiknews

BANDUNG,—Located in Garut, Sayang Heulang Beach has recently become one of the emerging tourist destinations in West Java to enjoy its beauty. It is especially famous for its BeachWalk, coral reefs, and the diversity of species found.

One of the species commonly spotted on Sayang Heulang beach is sea snails that are often attached to corals and can be consumed either raw or cooked- they are locally called mata lembu. Various types of seaweeds can also be found on this beach, which can be processed into high-quality products. During visit, the research team formed by Dr. Handajaya Rusli, S.Si., M.Si., examined three types of seaweeds: Sargassum sp, Gracilaria sp, and Ulva lactuca.

The research team from the ITB Chemistry Analysis Laboratory discovered the four main contents of the seaweed besides water are ash (mineral), carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The carbohydrates contained are not amylose and amylopectin, but they are safe for consumption by diabetics. On the other hand, the fats in them are not only composed of the commonly consumed fatty acid, but also include phospholipids, glycolipids, sterols, and oxylipins.

"This shows that some types of seaweed can be used for cholesterol treatment. Other applications are alginate and agarose isolation, as well as food and beverage products such as salads, sweets, and local nori," Dr. Handajaya said. His research regarding the prospects of seaweeds from Sayang Heulang Beach was documented in the ITB Engineering Rubric of Media Indonesia (Tuesday, July 26, 2022 edition).

With the abundance and wealth of natural resources and the tourism sector, the Sayang Heulang beach can potentially be developed into an agro-tourism spot. Agro-tourism utilizes the area’s natural beauty and agricultural knowledge to attract visitors. This concept can bring forth positive impacts to the area; for instance, the income of locals can be boosted through agriculture and businesses.

The development of agrotourism at Sayang Heulang beach requires cooperation from various parties. Input from researchers will help select the best agricultural sites, implementation techniques, and seaweed species to be cultivated. Moreover, the roles of government agencies, universities, and agencies of different study fields in West Java are needed as an accelerator for its development.

"In the long run, it is possible to establish a research institute that focuses on the development of seaweeds grown on Sayang Heulang Beach. Investors who are serious about the involvement can help increase the harvest’s selling value. If done correctly, this plan can benefit all contributing parties and popularize the beach more," he mentioned, as quoted from the ITB Engineering Rubric of Media Indonesia.

In addition, cooperation of the involved parties continues at the plan’s implementation stage. Educating, training, and providing business capital to local communities can introduce a new source of livelihood and job for the locals as seaweed farmers. Tourism training and assistance are also done so that locals can create educational and entertaining activities for visitors. Thus, tourists can watch the process of cultivating, tending, and harvesting the seaweeds.

Reporter: Luisa Carmel (Chemical Engineering, 2021)
Translator: Ruth Nathania (Environmental Engineering, 2019)

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