TEMPO.CO, - Banyuwangi is known as durian fruit production center that has plenty of germplasm because it is grown from seed. Durian plants growing in the district is already known to the public since the first Dutch colonial era. Therefore, its age has reached hundreds of years. Horticulture Forum Observer alongside the local government of Banyuwangi, East Java, has planted 1,000 of red durian tree seedlings. Up to 25,000 seeds are planned to be planted until 2015. So, with that is expected Banyuwangi to be Red Durian Center as a Banyuwangi Native Fruit.
One type of durian that becomes an icon of Banyuwangi district is long red durian, which is trusted by the community to be able to increase vitality. The six-month old seedlings were planted on Kemiren Village, Glagah District. According to Eko Mulyanto, the Head of Research and Development of the forum, the village will be turned into a center for red durian plantation for its geographical location that near to Mount Ijen and Bali strait. Development will also be made in other districts.
“Sulphur and sea mineral is believed to make red durian produced by Kemiren Village sweet and tasty,” said Eko.
There are two types of seedlings that were planted, namely Musang Merah and F1 Dubang. The tree seedlings have been developed from the original composite of red durian. These durian trees are expected to bear fruits in the next 7 to 12 years. It is claimed that the trees will be able to live for hundreds of years.
According to Eko, the forum is currently also developing a what-so-called ‘top working’ method in growing the durian trees. This method is done by cutting off the top part of white durian trees and replace it with top part of red durian trees. This method is claimed to accelerate fruit-bearing to only 2.5 years.
Today, Banyuwangi produces up to 3,000 tons of durian per year with 1,500 to 1,700 fruits among them are red durian. A survey has shown that at least 300 red durian trees are spread accross five districts but they dont even fulfill the local demand. Eko is optimistic that there are still great market for red durian.