Sambas Farmers Enjoy Highest Pepper Prices

Jamizan, pepper farmer. Photo: Yanuarius Viodeogo

Yanuarius Viodeogo

PONTIANAK — "Now this is the highest selling price I have ever tasted for 16 years growing pepper. I prefer to focus on planting pepper rather than harvesting rubber," said Jamizan pepper farmer from Sambas Regency, (4/12/2014).

Occasionally sipping a cup of coffee, with a smirking face, the 40-year-old farmer told Bisnis.com that pepper is now selling at the farmer level worth Rp140,000 per kilogram, 3 days ago.

With such a high selling price, this year Jamizan can taste the harvest of white pepper worth Rp52 million or as much as 400 kilograms.

At next year's harvest, he estimates the selling value of pepper is not much different from this year's revenue. As of this year, he has prepared the number of plants up to 400 stems, on an area of 0.5 hectares for next year.

Not without reason Jamizan is only able to plant between 300-400 rods due to limited energy assistance. For now, he is assisted by his wife, sometimes by his eldest son.

Meanwhile, other farmers can plant up to 2,000 pepper sticks on 0.5 ha of land because of the help of other workers. With such an area, farmers can reach a yield of almost 1 ton.

No wonder with the lucrative price of pepper harvest, Jamizan willingly left 300 rubber trees ready for production. The problem over time the price continues to decline.

From the data of the Provincial Plantation Office of Kalbar, the amount of pepper land is wider than the area of rubber plantation land that reached 53,043 ha, the amount of production as much as 16,970 tons in the district that before the monetary crisis in 1998 was known as the origin of sambasnya oranges.

In Sambas Regency there are 53,638 pepper farmers with a total land of 147,859 ha with and total production reached 64,085 tons in 2012, based on data from the Provincial Plantation Office of Kalbar.

The farmers are scattered in Galing and Luas subdistricts. The majority of them depend on the income from growing pepper.

Meanwhile, the total area of pepper land in Kalbar reached 1 million ha with a total production of 1.3 million tons cultivated by 570,141 farmers.

Head of Plantation Division of Sambas District Plantation Office Dedy Budianto said the factors of improving quality and overcoming toxic pests in pepper crops are the key to the success of increasing pepper prices in the market.

Dedy said previously farmers had difficulty overcoming pests on planting such as flower sucker pests, fruit suckers, stem borers, blonde mushrooms, rotten base, curly, horse hair, and upas mushrooms.

It collaborates with the German international agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit-Regional Economic Development (GIZ RED) to foster pepper farmers through integrated pest control (LPHT) activities.For five years, Dedy said the results showed a positive trend. The quality of pepper is improving, the selling price is increasing, and the market demand is increasing.

"In addition to buyers in Sambas market and Pontianak City, demand from buyers in Malaysia is increasing now." (Indonesian Business)


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