Friday, December 19, 2014


GRAFTING AND BUDDING are common to me as method of planting material production. In Malaysia this techniques normally practiced for fruit tree planting material production by many private sector in a mass production. From my literature reading I found that grafting is a historic method of propagating fruit, nut and ornamental trees. Its use by the Chinese has been documented as early as 1560 BC. The technique was discussed in detail by historic writers including Aristotle and Theophrastus and it became very popular in Europe during the Renaissance (1350 to 1600). Grafting is still important today and is the basis for commercial production of fruit, nut and many ornamental trees. This article I would like to share my knowledge of the factors influencing the budding succes based on my own experience and reading from few books regarding on budding techniques. 

There are reasons for grafting and budding techniques being practiced for many decades. From my observation on many private nurseries in Johor especially in Muar District, the grafting and budding are the most expensive forms of propagation. This issue frequently surpassing even micropropagation in terms of cost and labor involved. This techniques need skilled workers and genuine mother plants to ensure high successful rate. The skill worker sometimes fail to achieve a high successful rate due to weather condition such as long drought, heavy rainfall and other factors. However, grafting allows propagators to perpetuate clones that cannot be readily maintained or economically propagated by other means. From my experience shows that this method able to combine different cultivars into a composite plant with each part contributing a special characteristic. Change cultivars of established plants – TOPWORKING – including combining more than one scion cultivar on the same plant and for repair the plant injuries. It also able for disease indexing to test latent viral diseases. I found that this techniques suitable to study plant development and physiological processes. Grafting involves the union of a root system (called the UNDERSTOCK) with a shoot system (the SCION) in such a way that the cambiums are aligned and they subsequently grow to develop one composite plant. There are many methods and techniques used to accomplish this goal including BUDDING, a process wherein the scion is reduced in size and usually consists of only a single bud. 

The success of budding activities varies depend on many factors. From my survey done around Muar District for 134 private nursery operators in Johor in 2011 seems that many factors affect the success of budding and grafting activities. Cost of production of each planting material increase due to this factors. Many factors influence graft success including:

1. Plant 
2. Temperature 
3. Moisture 
4. Growth activity of rootstock 
5. Polarity 
6. Craftsmanship 
7. Pests and diseases 
8. Compatibility 

Some plant species and types of grafts take more easily than others do. According to my lecturer at Universiti Pertanian Malaysia some tree will graft as long as “the rootstock and scion are in the same room”. However, some species are so difficult to graft that they are approach grafted. The scion is grafted to the rootstock while still maintained on its own roots and the roots aren’t severed until the graft union forms which may take months or even years. Gymnosperms tend to be grafted while angiosperms tend to be budded. The temperature is important because callus growth does not occur below 0 Celsius. Above 60 Celsius tissue death occurs. Plants are usually held at 45 to 50 F for several months to promote callus formation without pushing vegetative growth on the scion. Higher temperatures can cause excessive callus growth that can result in depletion of the plant’s carbohydrate reserves. It is important to maintain adequate moisture and high relative humidity around the graft union to prevent uncontrolled water loss and dessication. This is usually achieved by wrapping the union and sealing it with grafting wax or cellophane to prevent moisture loss. 

The growth activity of the rootstock is important as well. Some methods of grafting including T-budding and bark grafting require actively dividing cambium (so the bark will “slip”). In the case of bench grafting, the rootstock is usually grafted just as new roots start to grow in the later winter. Outdoor grafting and budding is usually done in the early spring when the temperatures are favorable and the cambium is active. Plants with strong root pressure may bleed – leading to exudation at the graft union. Polarity is important in grafting and appropriate polarity must be maintained in the scion and rootstock. However, in nurse-grafting, the rootstock may be inserted with reduced polarity in order to stimulate selfrooting. Craftsmanship is critical to the success of the graft. Craftsmanship determines how far apart the cambia are and the amount of space that must be overcome during the healing process. Craftsmanship plays a role not only in initiatial graft union healing but also in how well the plant grows out after grafting. The stress of contamination by viruses, insects or disease organisms can overwhelm the already stressed, grafted plant. Infested materials may result in poor graft take and poor outgrowth of the grafted plants. Likewise, latent infestations may result in the death of a more susceptible rootstock or scion cultivar. I hope this article able to provide significant information to all of you there. Thanks.
M Anem
Senior Agronomist,
Bukit Beruang, Air Keroh,
(28 RabiulAkhir 1433H)

Saturday, November 15, 2014


BEE KEEPING is an activitiy getting more popular di Malaysia especially when government introduce young agropreneur to involve bee rearing in acacia area. Nectar is a glandular secretion of plants, usually collecting at the bases of flowers that bees depend upon for their energy source. Nectar normally contains a low to moderate concentration of sugar, and honeybees dehydrate nectar to produce honey. There are barely measurable amounts of proteins, vitamins and other nutrients in nectar, especially if a little pollen becomes incorporated into it. Bees use nectar in two ways. It can function as a water substitute, used to dilute brood food and air condition the hive. Or it can be "ripened" by the bees to become a stored carbohydrate resource. The sugar syrup that we feed to the bees can be used in either of those ways, also. But, we use different sugar concentrations for different purposes, as will be mentioned shortly. Attentive beekeepers are kept aware of colony conditions through periodic examinations of their colonies. Inspections should be conducted about every ten days during early and late spring.
Early spring inspections relate more to adequate food supplies. Late spring inspections deal more with swarm control. At each inspection the beekeeper should determine whether or not the bees have adequate food to carry them through a dearth period, usually caused by weather conditions that prohibit foraging flights. If the bees have twenty pounds of honey or stored sugar syrup, they will make it to the next inspection in ten days. If they have less stored carbohydrate, they need to be fed. 

In Malaysia the weather are stable all year round. The temperate country always feed a pollen substitute in the spring, if the bees need to be fed sugar syrup. Beekeepers dealing with sugar (sucrose) syrups that they mix themselves will follow these  guidelines. Syrups fed early in the season are used for brood rearing. Feeding sugar usually stimulates egg laying, so early season feedings are done with "light" (1 water : 1 sugar) syrup.  Syrups fed late in the season, to assure adequate winter stores, are not intended to be used as brood food, but are to be stored as ripened syrup. Thus, fall feedings are done with "heavy"  (1 water : 2 sugar) syrup. If fumagillin treatments are going to be used in the fall, feed for weight, first, then top off the colony with medicated syrup. If the medicated syrup is blended with earlier syrup, it will be too dilute to work. Beekeepers who feed high fructose corn syrup to their bees usually do not dilute the syrup, regardless of the season. A fructose solution always contains some level of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) that increases over time, especially with heat. HMF is toxic to honeybees at high enough concentrations.

From many observation, syrup is best fed to each colony individually. Each colony receives its full share, regardless of colony size. It is a good idea to start feeding in the evening, after the bees have settled down for the day. Bees interpret a sudden abundance of syrup as an excellent opportunity for robbing, somewhere. By feeding after flying has ceased, the potential robbers find a source right at home. Try not to spill syrup on the hives. It attracts ants and robbing bees. Bulk sugar prices may be more expensive than left over candy or soda pop syrups. Be very cautious when purchasing these bargain carbohydrates. Sugar from broken bags may contain insecticides from floor sweepings. Soda syrups or candies may contain indigestible long chain carbohydrates, like caramel. Soda syrups may be "out of date." If they are fermenting, the bees may be able to salvage some of the remaining sugar, at the cost of getting tipsy. If bacteria have begun working on the alcohol and converted it to acids, the "soured" syrup will be toxic to the
bees and substantial losses can result. This article are based on the research done by scientist from relevant universities.

M Anem
PrivateNatural Bee Farm,
Acacia Rainforest,
Johor, Malaysia.
(Nov 2014)

Monday, November 3, 2014


KELULUT (Heterotrigona spp) or Stingless Bee become popular activities to produce honey and other bee products. i recently visit Min House Camp in Kampong Pulau, Kubang Krian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan to certified how this kelulut rearing activities organised. However, this article are about the stingless bee report at Sarawak based on a report from local newspaper. Along the 50-metre stretch of the riverbank at Kampung Senah Rayang, a number of small boxes are attached to a row of wooden poles. Do you know what are inside the boxes? Bees, yes bees. What’s really special about these bees is they are stingless  and known as Trigona sp or Kelulut in Malaysia. They belong to the family apidae.  During my visit to the kampung for an official function, a swarm of these stingless bees (meliponines) could be seen buzzing inside the boxes and around a gong, hung at the side of the community hall. It was quite an amazing sight. I wasn’t surprised by the bees’ black colour as I had seen this species before. What I didn’t know is they produce not only edible but also nutritious honey. Stingless bee honey is twice as nutritious as ordinary honey, according to Department of Agriculture Expert from PTIF, Putrajaya. The other species of honeybees I know seem to like zipping and buzzing around with a great sense of urgency to accomplish their work, including to sting. As the saying goes, as busy as a bee. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share my knowledge to all readers.

The stingless bees don’t whizz around so much, seemingly much more relaxed, and somehow will not make you feel as tense with their lack of sting during an encounter.
They are much smaller about three to five millimetres in size, and have a slimmer body in total variance with the usual yellow and black sting-capable honeybees. Although they do not sting, Trigona can be aggressive too especially for Heterotrigona itama but not the Heterotrigona thoracica especially when threatened. My experience with this species is they attack the soft part of your skin like eyelids, lips, face and neck. They also tangle in your hair even although they don’t sting. They have stingers but these are highly reduced and cannot be used for defence.
Twice as nutritious are the ultimate results from kelulut honey. Until my visit to Min House at Kubang Krian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan (6 km from the city) and to Kampung Senah Rayang in upper Padawan, about 90km from Kuching, I always regarded these stingless bees as worthless social insects. But according to Mr Hisyamudin (Kelulut Project Manager at Min House Camp) and The Kampung headman Roslee Abdullah, Trigona honey is known for its medicinal values. They said the villagers had tried rearing these stingless bees on recommendation by DOA and Mardi. A two-day course on this venture was held at SEKAYU APIARY PARK at Terengganu for Agropreneur Muda Kelulut and local villager in Sarawak in October 2014 with 45 youths and May with 60 participants respectively.

 The organisers said that after the course, the village security and development committee (AJKKK) started a pilot project with eight bee boxes along the riverbank. Some families also tried it with several boxes around their houses. Roslee said the boxes were placed near coconut trees since meliponines are good pollinators of coconuts. “In fact, the bees are farmer-friendly because they pollinate fruit trees and vegetables.” He revealed the villagers had been collecting stingless bee honey from the wild but did not know its nutritional values. “In the past, the honey was collected for consumption only,” he added. A villager Johari Mohd Jeprydin said the stingless bees are not dangerous to children and are fascinating to watch. “Look, there are many of them around the gong and they are not bothered by the kids walking by.” It is believed there are about 15 species of stingless bees. They have a queen, drones and many sterile workers  just like colonies of commercial honeybees. The inside of a tree where the stingless bee queens are extracted. Lure of the queens is to attract armies of sterile workers, the queens which live in hollow trees found in the wild or near the village, had to be brought to the boxes.

The size of a colony in a hollow tree can range from a few dozens to over 100,000. The bees store pollen and honey in large egg-shaped pots made of beeswax, mixed typically with various types of plant resin (sometimes called propolis). These pots are often arranged around a central set of horizontal brood combs where the larval bees are housed. When emerging from their cells, the young worker bees tend to remain inside the hive, performing different jobs. As the workers age, they become guards or foragers. Unlike honeybee larvae, meliponine larvae are not fed directly. The pollen and nectar are placed in a cell, an egg is laid and the cell sealed until the adult bee emerges after pupation. Johari said they were told a hive of stingless bees reared in a box produced about 700 grammes of honey, adding that these bees produced a delicious tangy honey, sweet and sour. “I have tried it before,” he added. He also said a new colony reared in a box normally started producing honey after three months. “But when you rear these bees, make sure there are fruit trees around them because their colonies rely entirely on flower nectar and pollen for food.” Researchers have also discovered stingless bees are important pollinators of many forests and native plants, crops and garden flowers in their search for nectar and pollen.
 The Enemy of diseases for kelulut for centuries honey is known to be the enemy of diseases. Stingless bee honey is called Mother Medicine and there are an increasing number of traditional practitioners and researchers suggesting its use. Many known health benefits of eating stingless bee honey regularly include anti-ageing, enhanced libido and immune system, fighting bacteria and treating bronchial catarrh, sore throat, coughs and colds. Honey is also restorative after an illness and said to sooth pain, act as antiseptic, hasten healing, relieve cough and be effective in curing burns, carbuncle, boils and diabetic wounds. An extensive study on honey by Mohammed Moniruzzaman et. al., published in BioMed Research International Volume 2014, reported that among the various honey varietals taken from the different regions of Malaysia, dark colour honey produced by Trigona from starfruit or carambola trees contains exceptionally high levels of potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Stingless bee honey certainly has a lot of nutrients because meliponine is smaller than the normal bee and can suck nectar from flowers to the deepest space. As a result, the honey collected contains many vitamins and minerals, among which is propolis, produced from the bee’s saliva mixed with its food such as pollen, bark, tree shoots and flowers. Propolis is considered beneficial to heatlh because it contains all 16 amino acids, glucose, vitamins A, B, C, D and E, bioflavonoids and minerals. Bioflavanid repairs and improves the systems of the human body and livestock.
 Rear the real thing nowadays, many people are fond of honey and some have even bought fake honey. This is because technology today is so advanced that it can help formulate honey identical to the original product. So rearing your own honey bees is an option to obtain real honey. If you are afraid of being stung, then rear the stingless bees. The Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Development Unit (Bedu) in the Chief Minister’s Department and Mardi are taking steps to promote and commercialise stingless bee honey. Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Entrepreneur Development) Datuk Naroden Majais said in May Malaysia spent RM26.7 million on imported honey in 2008 and this increased to RM40.8 million in 2011 and RM50 million last year. He added that based on last year’s statistics, only 730 entrepreneurs nationwide had ventured into honey production. Naroden noted that stingless bees rearing could become an important cottage industry for the people to earn extra income. With a starting capital of between RM40,000 and RM50,000, he said apiarists (honey farmers) could earn between RM5,000 and RM30,000 a month with between 50 and 1,000 bee colonies. Each colony could produce up to 2kg of honey a month, he said, adding that the honey could fetch RM120 per kg in peninsular Malaysia. Based on Mardi’s research, there are 35 species of stingless bees in the peninsula while more can be found in Sarawak. DOA recently with Mardi is popularising the breeding of stingless bees. Meliponine honey in the form of medicinal honey contains natural antibiotic elements and functions as an anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-toxic agent. It also dilates blood vessels, strengthens the immune system and activates cells. Thanks.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Min House Camp Kelulut Farm,
Kubang Krian, Kota Bharu,
(31 October 2014)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


The Malaysian paddy and rice industry has always been given special treatment based on the strategic importance of rice as a staple food commodity. This study attempts to simulate the impacts of changes in government intervention policy, namely the fertilizer subsidy on the Malaysian paddy and rice industry using system dynamics model. Simulation result indicates that fertilizer subsidy does give a significant impact to the paddy and rice industry. Fertilizer subsidy increases the yield obtained and hence increase paddy production. The removal of fertilizer subsidy decreased the paddy production and consequently, decrease the self sufficiency level (SSL). With the removal of fertilizer subsidy the importation of rice seem inevitable due to the reduction in productions. Meantime the growth in population will further put a pressure to the government to increase importation and to find alternative policies to sustain production and to increase yield.

Rice has been a staple food of the Malaysian community and the paddy/rice industry is considered as a strategic industry and always gets special treatment from the
government. The industry is heavily regulated because of its social, political and economic importance. In 2009, apart from being the main source of food, it also provides the livelihood to 172,000 paddy farmers in the country. Land utilization for paddy production is currently at 674,928 hectares which is 76 percent in Peninsular Malaysia (515,657 ha) while Sarawak and Sabah accounted for 18 percent (118,919 ha) and 6 percent (40,352 ha) of the total hectareage respectively. The complexity of the paddy/rice industry makes planning and policy formulation is not an easy task. For example the instability in rice prices in world
market which occur in early 1970, middle of 1980 and recently in 2008 give a big negative impact to the industry. Besides, paddy/rice industry is also the most highly protected industry in the country. There are three types of government interventions, these are: import restriction or quota, fertilizer subsidies and price supports.

In order to evaluate two policy measures meant to stimulate growth and crop production. The simulation results indicate that fertilizer subsidies promote cash production and a more land intensive production pattern while maize trade liberalization, on the other hand, stimulates food crops and land extensive production processes. In contrast indicated that the fertilizer subsidy is not a key determinant of the use of fertilizer in paddy cultivation. The regression results from this study indicated that changes in the prices of fertilizer and paddy do not have a significant effect on fertilizer usage, which points to the fact that the fertilizer subsidy is not a key determinant of the use of fertilizer in paddy cultivation. The study also found that there is a The Impact of Fertilizer Subsidy on Malaysia Paddy/Rice Industry Using a System Dynamics Approach International Journal of Social Science and Humanity relatively higher correlation between fertilizer usage and paddy price than between fertilizer usage and fertilizer price. These findings suggest that the fertilizer subsidy could be withdrawn gradually over time.


M Anem
Sekinchan, Selangor,

Friday, September 19, 2014


ROSE APPLE (Syzygium jambos) is it a type of berry, a pear or an apple? As I told my friends from Europe, this remarkable fruit is not what it name intends, an apple but in Malaysia are known as JAMBU AIR. It was grown and native to Malaysia since I was plucking the fruits surrounding my house in Muar, Johor for many years. Apparently my friend said that rose apple looks more like a pear and it taste like a watermelon. Actually this rose apple are juicy , red in color and attractive for dish decoration. Now I wonder why many people call it rose apple? Where the does name came from and what exactly is a rose apple? Let’s find out in "Anim Agro Technology" about the not very popular fruits in Malaysia called as Rose Apple for our knowledge.

I presume it was called 'Rose Apple' because of the crispy fruits smell and taste like rose water. I really like to eat this fruits of fully ripe with sweet taste. The scientific name for rose apple actually is Syzygium jambos. While its English name varies not only is it called rose apple it is also refer to as the Malabar plum Plum, Rose Malay Apple Wax Apple and also as Water Apple. My corlicks from Dutch did mention about this fruit known as 'Rozenappel ahile' and in Spanish known as 'Pomarrosa'. The French also given a various name to this fruit such as  Jamrosat, Jambrosade, Jam-rose and Pomme rose. In other literatura, I found out that the German called this fruit as Rosenapfel and Malabarpflaume. Even this fruit originate from the South East Asia and its part of the Myrtaceae (myrtle family) but the distribution able to reach South America and Australia nowadays.

The Leaves: 
The leathery leaves grow opposite each other on short, thick stems that clasp the twig. They are oblong in shape, narrower at the stem end. They are 2 to 10 inches long, 1 to 6 inches wide. They are pink when young and become dull, light-green above and yellowish-green beneath when mature

The Flowers: 
A showy terminal inflorescence, usually with four whitish-green flowers on the outside of the crown. The flowers have a faint fragrance and grow in loose clusters of 3 to 7 at the end of branches. The petals are pale yellow, yellow-white or pink and the stamens are uni-colored. In Indonesia the tree blooms twice a year, in July and again in September. The fruits ripen in August and November.

Fruits are about 5 cm long with a whitish-green colour, but colour variations exist including red skinned fruits. The skin is thin and waxy. The rose apple or jambu fruit has a shiny, thin skin which varies from white to light red. About 1 inch long and 1-1.5 inches wide, they are shaped somewhat like a pear with a narrow neck and a wide apex. The fruit curves in and forms a concave indentation from which stiff sepals and the style protrude. The flesh is white or pink, slightly fragrant, crisp and juicy with a faint sweet flavor. The fruit has about 1-3 seeds which, together with the roots, are considered poisonous. Red and white jambu are found in Indonesia. The red jambus are the smallest fruit, sweet and juicy, with the white ones being very acidic. In Malaysia there is a wide variety of color, ranging from palest green, delicate blush pink to deep crimson and a sort of brownish red. Green jambu are very crunchy but not as juicy.

Grow as a shrub or as a medium-sized tree. 7 to 12 meter. Jambu is a small tree or large shrub which grows on the average of 10 to 20 feet in height. Branches grow close to the ground from a short, crooked trunk. The crown is open and non-symmetrical. It likes plenty of rain evenly spaced throughout the year

Climate and weather: 
Requires a tropical or near tropical climate. Growth at altitudes up to 900 meter. Type of soil: Prefers deep loamy soil. But can tolerate sand or limestone with very little organic matter. Planting Distance: Spacing (close range) 8 meter and Spacing (wide range) 12 meter. Insect pests: Few insect problems. Aphids. Diseases: Sometimes there is visible mould growing on honeydew excreted by aphids. Leaf spot. Anthracnose. Fusarium root rot.

Pick by hand from the tree. The young fruit and ripe fruit are almost uniform in  a bunch. Fruits should be eaten or used soon after picking because they spoil soon. Fruits ripen over an extended period of time in proper cold storage. The price of rose apple in fresh market ranged between RM 4.00 - RM 8.00 per kilogram depending on the freshness, sizes, variety and the location of the shops. 

Eat the fruits fresh (the skin can be eaten too). Fruits are crisp with the taste (and smell) of rose-water. Fruits are hollow, the core contains a small amount of inedible fluff. I like too eat fresh rose apple during peak season and it fresh from farm. The fruit also processed to make a 'Halwa' and 'Rojak' as dessert. Sayonara! Thanks....
Rose Apple arranged for sale.
M Anem
Senior Agronomist
Serdang Agriculture Station
(9 JamadilAkhir 1434H)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


BLACK PEPPER or the botanical Name as Piper nigrum has an Indian name of Kali mirch/Milagoo is rich of medicional values. Other namesof this plant are Lada Hitam (Malaysia/ Indonesia) - Black Pepper and Lada Putih Malaysia/ Indonesia) - White Pepper, Pimienta negro (Spanish), الفلفل الأسود (Arabic), poivre noir (French), schwarzer Pfeffer (German), svartpeppar (Sweedish). Pepper is one of the oldest and most important of all spices. It is known as the 'king of spices' .Black pepper is the whole dried fruit, while white is the fruit subjected to the treatment in water with the mesocrap removed. Both varieties are ground and used in a powdered form. Pepper is a native of Western Ghats of India.

Pepper has been used as a spice in India since prehistoric times. Pepper is native to India and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BC. J. Innes Miller notes that while pepper was grown in southern Thailand and in Malaysia, its most important source was India, particularly the Malabar Coast, in what is now the state of Kerala. Peppercorns were a much prized trade good, often referred to as "black gold" and used as a form of commodity money. The term "peppercorn rent" still exists today.

The ancient history of black pepper is often interlinked with (and confused with) that of long pepper, the dried fruit of closely related Piper longum. The Romans knew of both and often referred to either as just "piper". In fact, it was not until the discovery of the New World and of chile peppers that the popularity of long pepper entirely declined. Chile peppers, some of which when dried are similar in shape and taste to long pepper, were easier to grow in a variety of locations more convenient to Europe.

Properties of pepper
Black pepper is stimulant, pungent, aromatic, digestive and nervine tonic. Black pepper is very useful in in relieving flatulence. Pepper has a stimulating effect on the digestive organs and produces an increased flow of salvia and gastric juices. It is a good home remedy for digestive disorders. Powdered black pepper thoroughly mixed with malted jagerry may be taken in the treatment of such conditions. Pepper is beneficial in the treatment of cold and fever. A pinch of finely ground pepper mixed with honey taken twice day is effective in amnesia or dullness of intellect. Pepper is an effective remedy for cough caused due to throat irritation. Pepper is useful in pyorrhoea or pus in the gums. Powdered pepper and salt mixture when massaged over the gums relieves inflammation.

Black peppercorns figure in remedies in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicine in India. The 5th century Syriac Book of Medicines prescribes pepper (or perhaps long pepper) for such illnesses as constipation, diarrhea, earache, gangrene, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches. Various sources from the 5th century onward also recommend pepper to treat eye problems, often by applying salves or poultices made with pepper directly to the eye. There is no current medical evidence that any of these treatments has any benefit; pepper applied directly to the eye would be quite uncomfortable and possibly damaging.

M Anem
Senior Aronomist
Kuching, Sarawak,
(5 Ramadan 1435H)

Thursday, September 4, 2014


COFFEE (Coffea spp) among polupar crops in ASEAN country with the total production is about 153,268 metric tons about 26% of the world production. The coffee producers are Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The total coffee exports, whereas the total coffee consumption is approximately 11,000 thousand - 60 kilogram bag or 7.5% of the words consumption in this regions. From my observation and study, the ASEAN coffee consumption has steadily increase from about 4.8% of the world consumption in 2013 to 7.4% due to various factors. However I found that the ASEAN coffee exports has steadily increase from 36,490 mt to to higher amount (2.1 million mt). As for the export type, 80-85% are the green coffee followed by soluble coffee (10-15%) and the remaining as other forms. For the exports of the green coffee beans, Vietnam shares 97.5% of coffee production especially exported to USA, China, Hong Kong and other developed country. Indonesia are the largest coffee growing area with 1.23 million hectare scattered throughout the islands involves for 1.9 million smallholders. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share my knowledge about status of coffee industry among ASEAN countries.

Challenges in coffee industries in ASEAN includes to increase yield without expanding land area for coffee production, value addition, renew old coffee tree, increase operation management and quality control. Coffee plantation need lots of men-power during harvesting period that comprise for 66% for the costs of production. The input costs such as chemicals, fertilizer, irrigation facility and other inputs increasing from 2008 Oil Crisis until today. For coffee in future the opportunities in ASEAN I believe are favourable demographics (good condition for coffee to be grown) due to large population with rising middle class especially for coffee drinking society. Coffee is considered high end category with the introduction of various coffee products in the markets. Recently the StarBuck Coffee hits most of ASEAN cities as a high class expensive coffee outlets. More farmers has to sustain their plants and increase productivity through various approaches.

Malaysia grown about 5,668 hectare of coffee with annual production about 16,600 metric ton valued at RM10.9 million. Coffea robusta and Coffea liberica are two varieties grown in Malaysia in three major states that was Joho, Selangor and Perak. Most coffee growers are smallholders with an average farm size of 1.0 hectare. In 2012, Malaysia export RM13.4 million of tea, coffee, cocoa and spices (Malaysia Statistic Department). Growing trends of coffee decreasing every year in Malaysia and change their coffee farms to oil palm or other promising commodities. From my observation in Johor for 10 consecutive years, most farmers refuse to replant their coffee due to the high costs for harvesting (65% of total costs of production), uncertain ex farm beans price, low productivity, attack by pests and diseases and low returns compare to other sectors.Thanks. 

Prepared by,
M Anem
Senior Agronomist,
Mini MAHA Melaka,
Dataran MITC,
(29 Ramadan 1435H)