The Jakarta Post
Farmers and economists say the government should start funding new chili-growing methods like planting in greenhouses so that the commodity can be in supply year-round, considering it is a weather-sensitive plant.
“Supply is always short during the rainy season. This has been happening for the last 10 years. We as farmers suggest greenhouses as the best solution to keeping supplies stable, even during the wet season,” Tunov Mondro Atmojo, a chili farmer coordinator in Magelang, Central Java, said over the phone on Tuesday.
Although, the capital required for constructing greenhouses remained a challenge with at least Rp 200 million needed per hectare, excluding land costs, the bigger yield was apparent with 7 tons per hectare with only a 10 percent failure rate during the rainy season compared to conventional farming techniques of 5 tons per hectare at a 30 percent failure rate, Tunov said.
Meanwhile, economist Dwi Andreas of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture supports the farmers’ view, saying that the government needs a solution for the commodity’s scarcity because with such a method, harvests could occur any time of the year regardless of season.
Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman previously said greenhouses were a good idea and he would consider their utilization.
Bird’s eye chili (cabai rawit merah) prices have surged to Rp 132,500 (US$9.88) per kg this month from Rp 60,000 per kg in November compared to its ceiling price of Rp 29,000 per kg on the back of bad harvests during the rainy season. (bbn)