Bank of Indonesia’s Surakarta branch has initiated the development of a “super” garlic variety in Karanganyar regency, Central Java, in a bid to help reduce imports of the commodity.
The new garlic variety is being developed in Pancot village of Kalisoro subdistrict in the regency’s Tawangmangu district.
BI Surakarta head Bandoe Widiarto said the Super garlic was the result of an innovation in chromosome multiplication method by a garlic expert at Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) and the Taruna Tani Maju farmers group in Tawangmangu.
“Two trials have been held. We are confident that this Super variety can reduce our dependence on imported garlic,” Bandoe said on Sunday.
Indonesia heavily relies on imported garlic, with the Agriculture Ministry’s estimate showing 503,600 tons of consumption against 21,000 tons of local production in 2016.
Bandoe said the Super variety was developed from the existing Tawangmangu Baru variety, with the central bank facilitating the development of the Tawangmangu Super over the last two years. The Tawangmangu Super was a double chromosome variety with bigger tubers of 6 to 8 centimeters in diameter, while the local garlic variety only had an average diameter of about 3 centimeters.
Taruna Tani Maju chairman Bejo Supriyanto said 600 kilograms of Tawangmangu Baru garlic could produce 18 tons per hectare of fresh garlic, while the Tawangmangu Super could produce about 20 tons per hectare.
Bejo also said that local garlic farmers had switched to other crops because of their inability to compete with the influx of garlic from imported into the domestic market. “Between 1990 and 2000, the [production of] Tawangmangu Baru garlic decreased sharply,” he said.
They started to revive garlic cultivation after they received assistance from BI Surakarta. “Now we are developing Tawangmangu Baru into Tawangmangu Super,” Bejo said.
The head of BI Surakarta’s economic advisory and development team, Taufik Amrozy, said the Tawangmangu Super variety was still in the experimental stage. He added that it took time to develop the variety as a national commodity, in terms of cultivating seeds and producing bulbs for consumption.
Taufik said that Tawangmangu Super garlic cannot enter the market yet, as the current harvest would be stored for planting next May year.
“Hopefully, Pancot village will become a major producer of garlic seeds so the new variety can be planted in other regions,” he added, saying that the quality of Tawangmangu Super garlic will continue to be improved. (sri/bbn)
The Jakarta post