Prime quality is the key to profit
The cultivation of crystal guava, has helped Badri earned Rp 22.4 million per month, a lot more than other farmers who just earned Rp 8.4 million for each month.
Badri, farmer in Cikarawang Village, Dramaga Sub-district, Bogor Regency, West Java incomed from the sale of crystal guava 600 kg perweek or 2.4 tons per month. In a year Badri harvest 28.8 tons of crystal guvav from 1200 trees aged three. With an average weight of 250 grams per fruit, each guava tree reached the productivity of 96 fruits in Badri’s land.
The seedless guava from Taiwan is relatively easy to fruit. The guava harvest in Badri’s farm has 40% classified to quality A, 40% to quality B, and 20% to quality C. The quality A fruit should be uniformly sized, weight about 300 g, roundly shape, with the light green color and smooth of fruit skin (see the illustration).
The selling price of crystal guava for farmers is Rp 15,000/kg for quality A, Rp 7,000/kg for quality B and Rp 3,000/kg for quality C. Generally, the total income of farmer Badri is Rp 22.4 million/month, and after deducting the maintenance cost Rp 40,000/tree, year or Rp 4,032 million/month, the net profit of crystal guava reached to Rp 18.368 million per month
Fertilizer and Pruning
Badri’s land make four times profit more to others farmer around Badri’s village who owns the same number of trees. These farmers harvest crystal guava only 300 kg, with 20% of quality A, 40% of quality B, and 40% of quality C. What is the key of Badri’s success to produce with high production and prime quality of crystal guava?
According to crystal guava expert from Taiwan Technical Mission, Lai Yi Rong, to reach goal of Badri, farmers should follow the principle of cultivation in specific timing and routine: apply the fertilizer, pruning the branch , sorting and wrapping the fruit.
Badri strictly followed the standard cultivation from Taiwan Technical Mission, while the other farmers in the village act differently.
The standard cultivation started since the preparation of planting (see the illustration). Badri do the fruit thinning when fruit are marble-sized, “each branch only maintain 1-2 fruit, the rest is trimmed, “Badri said. According to Lai Yi Rong, the fruit thinning is important, too much fruit makes the fruit size small and bad quality,” Lai said.
When the fruit size to a ping pong ball, Badri wraps the fruit with two wrapping apply: stereofoam net and plastic. According to the Head of University Farm IPB Anas D. Susila, the function of using the stereofoam net is for reducing the intensity of the sunlight. Without stereofoam net, the fruit color will be dark green. The quality A fruit are light green skin color, said the alumny of Horticulture Doctor of University of Florida, USA.
Some other farmers wrapped the fruit with newspaper. Using the newspaper, the maturity level and fruit color are not seen, hence is difficult to define the appropriate time for harvest, said Anas. Wrapping with transparent plastic could protect the fruit, especially the attack of the fruit flies. “Holes the plastic a little so water from the fruit evaporation can come out”, Anas said.
According to Lai Yi Rong, avoid to wrapping the fruit when fruit is smaller than a ping-pong size to prevent the fruit falling. However, when the fruit is way bigger than the right timing, fruit will most likely being attacked by fruit flies, according to expert of fruit pest and diseases from Centre of Tropical and Horticultural Study (PKHT) IPB, Kusuma Darma. Without wrapping, the attack of fruit flies can ruin the fruit to 80%, while wrapping can reduce pest to 5-10%. The other threat is trips (shriveling leaves) which can reduce production to 20% in rainy season and 40% in dry season.
The average harvest time for fruit is 2-2.5 month after the flower bloom, the maturity level reached to 80%. Fruits harvested in the right time taste sweet and crispy, Anas said. Badri already get higher income by applying the right strategy and the others just need to follow.