Cili Api (Capsicum frustecens Linn) ia a type of small chilly that was very hot and popular among Malaysian. Cili Api alos called as Cili Padi, Cili Burung, Cabe Rawit, Lombok Rawit among local are grown traditionally around the surrounding farm house. The plants grown wild able to sustain for about 1-2 years whilst those planted only sustain for 3-5 months due to bacterial wilt and triteza virus attack. About 224 hectare of cili api was grown in Malaysia in 2009 producing 1,400 metric ton valued at RM 6.2 million. Johore was the largest cii api producer (75 ha) followed by Sarawak adn Kelantan. Traditional Cili api production recorded at very low about an average of 6 mt/ ha compared to the claimed potential yield about 20 mt/ ha.
Recently I visited two cili api project in Melaka that was considered successful with Fertigation System under Rainsheltered Structure. The variety used was Cili Api "CENTIL" that was suitable to grow under fertigation syatem. The first project located at TKPM Pulau Gadong and the private project own by Mr Lee at Kg Relau , Asahan Jasin, Melaka. Both farmers use cili api Centil du to seed availability, high yielding ability, uniform red color and size, easy for marketing access, high resistance to wilt disease and medium height.
The seed of cili api centil purchased at RM 40.00 per packet and sowed under netted structures for early precaution measures. For 500 polibeg Mr Izuan (TKPM Pulau Gadong Farmers) able to collect about 200 kg cili api per week or about 800 - 1,000 kg per month. The ex-farm price RM 8.00 - RM 10.00 per kilogram. According to him the highest cost is to pluck the cili api centil which costs RM 1.80 - RM2.00 perkilogram. That means cost of production of cili api centil about RM 3.50 - RM 4.50 per kilogram. It was a tidious job to harvest cili api and experience collector able to harvest maximum 4-6 kg a day.
Mr Lee grows cili api centil under fertigation syatem for about 4,000 polibeg. The syatem was not covered with any rainshelteherd stuctures but layered with a black plastic sheet to collect access fertilizer solution. He able to harvest about 3,500 - 4,000 kg per month at ex-farm price about RM 7.00 - RM 9.00 perkilogram. He said the bacterial wilt attack 20% of the planted area and later collected and demolished. He claimed the cili api planting was a very high labor for harvesting and considered as the most critical activity. There was no problem on selling cili api at any volume.
Growing cili api as I study need a special knowledge. I oberved that few factors contribute plant from any disease attack and pest attack the Good Agriculture Practices has to be applied. Smoking in the cili api farm should be prohibited as I notice the smoker farmers their plants easily attacked by disease. The use of treated planting media also recomended. The use of fresh chicken dung also contribute to bacterial wilt in fsrm.
Cili Api Centil was a new variety for cili api category for commercial production. Malaysia imports "Cili Api Siam" from Thailand valued at RM 5 million a week! Just immagine the Siamese Cili Api was very cheap only about RM 4.00 - RM 5.00 per kilogram (Almost less that half of local cili) and consistant supply. This cili api siamk was not very hot compare to cili api centil produced by local farmers.
HEBENERO....THE HOTTEST CHILLY....
CENTIL...CILI API NEW VARIETY...
HIGH PRICE....NEVER LOW DOWN...