Cardamom is one of the spices that are needed by the community. Not only for cooking ingredients, cardamom is also needed for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Interested in starting cultivation?
“Cardamom plants are shrubs that grow well in shaded conditions. Kapolaga plants require fertile, loose and well drained soil. Such land is abundant in Indonesia at various heights below 1000 m above sea level (asl), rainfall 2000-4000 mm per year, “explained the Cardamom researcher from the Research Institute for Spices and Medicinal Plants, Rosihan Rosman.
In Indonesia alone, Cardamom plantations are spread in 20 provinces in Indonesia, the largest in West Java 27 405 536 square meters with production of 62,923,519 kg (62,923 tons).
The export value also increased to reach 6,248,064 kg (6,248 tons) with a value of 7,785,335 US dollars. Domestically, cardamom needs are still large because of the wide utilization in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. “The price per kg of dried cardamom is between Rp. 90,000, – Rp. 110,000,” he added.
The Indonesian Spice and Medicines Research Institute identifies at least 3 regional criteria that are suitable for cardamom cultivation. Starting from the criteria of the Amat Region according to the area that has a height of up to 500 m above sea level with rainfall 2000-3000 mm / year. “Starting from the area between Bogor-Jakarta to Cirebon, Cianjur Regency, West of Sukabumi, West of Serang, and around Ciamis,” said Rosihan.
Then the criteria for the area according to the area that has a height of up to 500 m above sea level with rainfall 2000-4000 mm / year. “There are around Pandeglang, Bogor, North Bandung, South Sukabumi, Sumedang, Garut, Majalengka and Ciamis,” he added.
Until the regional criteria are almost appropriate, namely areas that have heights of up to 500 m above sea level with rainfall of 2000-5000 mm / year which are located in East Pandeglang, south of Serang to around Bogor Regency, South Sukabumi, South Cianjur.
Then how is the cultivation?
In order to produce cardamom plants that produce, you must know how to cultivate properly. Starting from choosing cardamom seeds.
“It can be generative seedlings or vegetative seedlings from saplings. Generative propagation through seeds takes longer. Preferably from vegetative form of tillers, “Rosihan explained.
Seed planting material requires seeding first and takes 3-4 months depending on the growing media. The planting material from the seeds is moved to the field, waiting until the height reaches 30-50 cm. Conversely, if using vegetative, from puppies that have reached 30-50 cm high and in healthy condition.
Cardamom plants for growth require protection / shade. Therefore, before planting, a protective tree is prepared. A protective tree can be a sengon tree, coconut, petai and so on.
“Spacing of 1 x 2 meters, 1.5 x 2 meters or 1 x 2.5 meters. Before planting the planting hole is prepared with a size of 30 × 30 x 30 cm. “Seedlings in the form of tillers are planted a week after the soil is mixed with 0.5 kg of manure per planting hole,” he explained.
Fertilization is an effort to increase nutrient requirements so that the soil becomes more fertile. Fertilization is given at the beginning of planting in the form of organic fertilizer around the plant. “To meet nutrient needs during its growth, in addition to organic fertilizer inorganic fertilizers can be given. “Inorganic fertilizers can be given at a dose of 40 g urea and 40 g TSP,” he added.
Maintenance is not difficult, the harvest time and postharvest handling are faster
Maintenance includes, watering, replanting, weeding, fading, and fertilizing. Stitching is intended to replace plants that are dead or not growing well. Watering is needed when the plants are young and in dry conditions.
Weeding is done to remove weeds that grow around it. Weeds can interfere with plant growth. The presence of weeds occurs competition in taking soil nutrients. In addition weeds will interfere with the development of fruit. Loosening is done so that plants can bear more fruit and roots grow well. Burping takes place during the rainy season.
Cardamom harvest is done after the plants are 1.5-2 years old until 10 to 15 years old. 1 cm round fruit that clustered above the ground surface, the amount ranges from 10-20 pieces per bunch.
Fruit harvested dipipil (released from the stalk or dompolannya). The fruit is cleaned and cleaned. After that, it is placed on the trash or other place, to be ready for drying. Fruit that has been dried in the sun to dry in the sun.
Processing results are generally carried out repeatedly for several days. In good weather conditions (not raining), drying is carried out 4-5 days, whereas if the weather is somewhat unfavorable or the rainy season, drying takes 6-8 days.
During the drying process, storage at night, the fruit is not stacked, but remains in the drying area. This is so that the fruit does not rot.
Interested in starting Cardamom cultivation?
Author: Agus Ruhnayat