Apple cultivation in Gayo Highland

Banda Aceh – Gayo highland in Bener Meriah and Middle Aceh regency is well known about its coffee plant. In fact, the production of that plant has been well known in international. At least 80% of ‘Heaven Country’ people get the earning depend on coffee plant.

Gayo has productive coffee land more than 29 hectare. That’s it, apart from the area coffee and its fertility, coffee plant has produced at least 19867.48 ton annually.

However, besides the increasing of coffee production, there are few people who try other earnings by being another farmer such as being apple farmers to cultivate apple plant.

Nowadays, apple plant can produce 15 or 20 kg apple from each tree.

“But, the harvest is disabling to fulfill consumer necessary yet. It’s not enough either for marketing it or for fulfilling people demand. It is due to apple is very loveable by people,” one of apple farmers said – Siswanto (35-year-old) in Kampung Despot Linge – Middle Aceh on Thursday, August 2.

It seems to him that apple cultivating has tantalized enough chance because it has a high price about 25000 rupiah or 27000 rupiah per kilogram.

“Now, I have five various apples which have been cultivated. And its seed, I directly got from Malang – East Java. I think that apple cultivating is better to grow up in Takengon. Maybe it’s due to the weather, nature condition, and land that really suitable,” Siswanto explained who also confessed that he have tried to cultivate apple since 2005.

Siswanto succeed to develop the apple cultivation and he able to fulfill his family necessary. In fact, this newcomer from Malang had got nickname as apple’s skipper.

Had ever doubt

Firstly, according to Siswanto, the people in village where he lives had ever doubt about his attempt. “The people here had ever doubt because basically the coffee is the main plant here, however I keep try and apple able to grow well here as well as coffee,” he said.

In addition, he said those apples which he planted are better than with others that he had ever planted in Malang.

“Thus, now, 200 apple plant have been cultivated in his home yard are able to produce about 15 until 20 kg,” he said.

Besides that, these apples are somehow ordered by civil servants from many departments in Takengon city. “Usually, civil servants directly camo to buy apple and also harvest it by themselves,” he said.

Five kinds of apple that have been developed by Siswanto are mana lagi apple (green-yellow color), ana apple (red color), australian apple (green color), rumbiuty apple (red-green color), and wangling apple (dark green color).

If we plant the apple, thing that we should to concern about is land height above sea level. Apple plant will grow well if it is planted in land with 1200 meters height. In Abu Land, this despot, we estimated that it has 700 meters until 1400 meters height above sea level. So, it is really proper for apple plant,” Siswanto explained. He also confessed that he autodidact understand about apple cultivation since 14-year-old. In fact, gardening apple is his hereditary family earning in Malang.

However, Siswanto said that apple seeds are quietly expensive. It is caused by lack of apple seeds in Takengon.

“The price of apple seeds reaches up from 50000 rupiah until 75000 rupiah a small pot. The high of price is the challenge for other farmers here to follow me as an apple farmer. But, we had proposed to Aceh government to give the aid,” Siswanto added.[]

Seputar Aceh

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