Sunday, July 4, 2010


Ripe chempedak at local stall ready for consumers.

Cempedak (Artocarpus chempeden syn Artocarpus integer) was a tropical fruit trees. Cempedak was under Moraceae family and originated form South East Asia and largely grown in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam dan other SEA Country. Cempedak was grown in Malaysia as a commercial comodity or grown either as a monocrop or mixed comodity with few other fruit types such as durian, rambutan, duku etc in traditional village. Department of Agriculture Malaysia recorded about 10,679 hectare (Production about 39,024 mt) cempedak was grown as CHE in 2006 and increase the size to 11,050 ha in 2009 with annual production for 53,010 metric tonnes. Cempedak was largely grown in few states such as in Sarawak (Kuching District about 366 ha) followed by Selama District, Perak (250 ha) and Sipitang District, Sabah (245 ha) in 2009 respectively. For 2010 it was estimated about 11,480 ha cempedak planted with the estimated production 55,130 mt.

Cempedak fruit is yellow, brown or green in color contains between 100-500 seeds depend on clones. The fruit is barel or pear shaped while the seeds are shaped like kidneys. The seeds are surrounded by a soft yellowish or reddish flesh which can be eaten fresh without cooking. The flesh has a strong smell, sweet and sometimes juicy. The seeds can be eaten as roasted or boiled. The cempedak flesh is also used for making jams and cakes or other processed product. The best about cempedak is "Fried Cempedak" of locally called "Cempedak Goreng" - (see photo above) coated with special flour which bring a strong smell from distance (See left photo of cempedak goreng).

Cempedak fruit is suitable to be grown with sandy loam soil and proper drainage system. Cempedak tree cannot survive if the root system submerged for more than 4 hours under water. Recomended planting distance for cempedak is 7 meter x 8 meter to provide 143 trees/ hectare. Vigrous seedling selected from germinated seeds or budded seedling or other method of seedling production. The seedling must free from unwanted disease and pests. Basic Agronomic Practices of cempedak planting must be followed. There is 2 popular clones recomended for Cempedak in Malaysia and Paya Jaras is one of the popular clones. Clone CH28 has a very big size up to 4-7 kg per fruit and their skin yellowish and reddish flesh with sweet taste. For CH 30 clones it was smaller in size with an average about 3-6 kilogram per fruit and yellowish flesh with strong smell.

Upon planting basic manuring program such as organic manure, Dolomite and Rock Phosphate applied. NPK 15:15:15 at applied each tree annually 0.50 kg every 3 months for first year. Manuring program for vegetative and reproductive stage increases to 1 kg, 1.5 kg ang up to 4 kg after 4 years with NPK 15:15:15 and 15:15:17:2 TE respectively. Organic manure applied every 6 months for about 20 kg. Weed control is necessary by manual and reduce chemical or weedicide application. The best way to contrl weed by using grass cutter or power ripper.

Fruit borer (Bactocera spp) is the most scary pest in cempedak plantation. The adult pest will inject their eggs to the young fruit and their larvae will cause damages to the fruits. Wrapping the fruit bunch is the most practical system to control the fruit borer from damaging.There is no chemical control recomended for this pests. Cempedak also very succeptible to Dieback (Mati rosot) that can cause total failure if not controlled from the begining or early stage. Farm sanitation and removal of attacked branch is practical. Other related diseases was Wind Fungi ( Cendawan Angin) caused by Erytricum saimoncolor that spread by fungi through wind blow.

The vegetative stage for Malaysian Cempedak about 3-4 years and the trees last long for 6 - 10 year on reproductive stage. Cempedak produce yield about 10 -18 mt per hectare depend on Agriculture Practices. It is better the young fruit wrapped with suitable material such as gunni sack, used cloth, plastic etc to protect from fruit borers. Department of Agriculture Mersing Johor created an inovation called APC-2 an equipment to wrap cempedak at higher level (See the photo next). Matured fruit collected from the farm and stored before grading and send to the buyers. Price perkilogram ex-farm in Muar range about RM 2.50 - RM 4.00 perkg. Analysis shown that growing cempedak is profitable venture if the tree last for more than 8 - 10 years old.

From my experience as extension officer for more than 25 years, cempedak normally will bear fruit either once or twice a year. In Peninsular Malaysia (Southern region) the production season between Julai to September and second season between November to January. The cempedak wood is sometimes used as source of wood which village people claim as resistance to termite and durable (matured tree). Its is best if cempedak farm irrigated with drip system or other irrigation system so that the production and fruit quality manyained high every year.


M Anem
Cempedak Fan

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