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Thursday, October 8, 2009

LEAFY VEGETABLE ON PEATS


Commercial looks of Leafy vegetable farm on Peat Soil at GF Sengkang, Muar.

Peat soil considered a poor soil for most crops especially for perennial crops such as oil palm, orchards, rubber and coconuts that are Marginal Suitable. In Muar district of Johor there are about 1,450 hectare of deep peat soil especially in Mukim Air Hitam, Mukim Parit Jawa, Mukim Gerisek, Mukim Sg Balang, Mukim Seri Menanti and Mukim Jorak. Shallow peat area are located along coastal area from Muar to Batu Pahat mostly grown with coconut mixed with coffee but in the late 1980's most farmers change old crop to Oil Palm. Rubber area in traditional village nowadays scenario are 99 percent planted with oil palm mostly on the coastal area. In Mukim Air Hitam the peat area mostly planted with pineapple by smallholder with farm size ranging from 1 hectare to 4 hectare. The grow Morris Variety (40%) and Josapine Variety (60%) and sold for fresh consumption. Some area the pineapple are grown under coconut tree (MATAG Variety - DOA Project) and mixed with banana in some cases. There are about 180 hectare of peat soil in Mukim Gerisek near Sengkang River has been develops with Commercial Leafy Vegetable Farm. This area gathered 40 Chinese Farmers and 70% about of the area are grown with leafy vegetable such as brassica, bayam, kangkong, daun bawang, kailan, sawi, kuchai and many others. DOA established Famers Group Farming Committee in 1986 and Mr Tan Soo Tiok elected as a Group Leader. This project won first as champion in National Group Farming Project in 2009 and received prizes from Prime Minister on 16 August 2009 at MITC Malacca during National Farmers Festival. The project produced more than RM 5.2 million annually from leafy vegetable project. They marketed the vegetable to Malacca, Muar, Batu Pahat and Segamat District to the wholesaler.


Kuchai is a type of leafy vegetable for local dishes. Less usage of chemicals.


DOA recorded potential yield from this area is from 7,000 -12,000 kilogram per hectare (Sawi, Bayam, kangkung, Kailan). One crop cycle average planting period is about 26 to 30 days. The production level are considered medium potential category compare to mineral soil area. Kailan needs nursery under controlled condition and follow matrix calendar production according to market needs. Most kailan sent to wholesaler and cooked as Thai Tomyam local dishes as a complementary menu. Study shown that one foreign farm worker are able to manage 1 hectare of leafy vegetable farm. Every 10 hectare of farm managed by A Mandur (farm supervisor) that will arrange crop calender, harvesting target date and agronomic practices. Some of the farmers in this area received SALM Certification Program by DOA to ensure the vegetable production following batter Quality and Safe to eat.
Extension services especially on Pesticide Extension program checked regularly. Vegetable sample collected upon harvest and sent to Air Hitam Post Harvest Laboratory for chemical residual content. If the result Positive (MRL above permitted level) , Agriculture Officer will find the respective farmers to check and provide extension advise the usage of proper pesticide. Later it will be reported to authorised Division action has been taken on the ground using RF-2 Forms. Leafy vegetable production in Muar District is a commercial farming activities and DOA manage to improve the technology and agronomic practices as planned program.



By
AO M Anem
Senior Agronomist,
Vegetable Group Farming Projects,
Bt 19, Sengkang, Muar,
Johore, Malaysia.

AO checked the farm to collect farm sample for lab analysis.

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