Thursday, February 11, 2010

POMELO


Pomelo farm at Jementah Segamat, Johor with clone PO 55 organised by DOA.


POMELO (Citrus grandis) is the largest of citrus fruits that belongs to the family Rutaceae. It is also known as Limau Bali or Limau Tambun (In Malays) or Shaddock in common language. Pomelo derives its name from a word of unknown origin 'pampelmoose'. The tasty fruit is popular locally for its taste and features significantly in the Chinese New Year celebrations. In Malaysia about 1,895 hectare of pomelo grown commercially and estimated production 8,830 metric tons in 2012. Largest growing state was Johor (380 ha) and Perak (310 ha) in which Segamat District alone growing more than 313 hectare. The most popular varieties or clone of pomelo grown in Johor was PO 55 or the Limau Besar Ledang variety. This variety was registered in 1990 and originated from Perak. This article I would like to share at "Anim Agriculture Technology" the pomelo technology based on my agriculture extension program for pomelo during my tenure in Melaka and Segamat years ago.


Pomelo believed to be an ancestor of the grapefruit, is native to the Southeast Asian and the Indo-China regions. The exact place of origin is unknown but Malaysia has their own pomelo varieties recorded by DOA. It is most likely from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia where it is found in the wild (mostly small size and not commercial) . The Chinese cultivated it as a crop for thousands of years as it features significantly in the Chinese new year festivities. Variations of pomelo, either bred through selection and propagation or found as natural hybrids, have been cultivated in different places. In 1884, a variety of pomelo, limau bali, was imported into Malaya from Indonesia by Sir Hugh Low and it was grown in Penang and Perak. A peculiar variety found in the Dutch East Indies called the limau wangkang by Malays, consists of a small fruit enclosed inside a larger fruit. Some types of pomelo have no rind. It was grown as ornamental and commercial. Until today there are 18 registered pomelo in National Variety Listing at Department of Agriculture and 3 variety are recommended for commercial planting. Below are the Table 1 showing all the 18 variety registered and one not yet registered (Variety Kampong or Tok Ali).





In Southeast Asia, pomelo  is grown as a cultivatable crop in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. In Malaysia pomelo is widely grown in the state of Johor, Perak, Kedah, Melaka and Kelantan. It is also grown commercially in parts of the USA, Israel, China and Japan and is found growing non-commercially in India, Jamaica and the Middle East. Pomelo, known to be the largest of all citrus fruits, can grow as large as a foot in diameter and weigh up to 25 pounds. Popular variations of the fruit are the P051 (Variety Shating) and P052 (Variety Tambun) where the fruit is sweet and delicious. The latest clone was PO 55 known locally as 'Variety Limau Besar Ledang' that was popular to the Southern Region in Peninsular Malaysia especially at Jementah area, Segamat, Johor.


The pomelo tree is a large bushy tree with an irregular crown growing to around 5 to 15 m in height. The thorny tree has many branches and it produces fruits all year round. Its bark is brownish yellow and thick. The leaves are simple and grow to about 2 to 12 cm wide. Oil glands are present on them as small dots and this gives the dark green leaves a shiny appearance. manuring program during vegetative period with NPK 15:15:15 for about 150 gram/tree and during Reproductive stage using NPK 12:12:17:2 at 300 gm/tree. The use of 'fish product waste' and organic manure seem to increase productivity and fruit quality. Half bag of chicken dung layered under the canopy each tree for every 4-6 months.


Among pests for pomelo was Fruit Fly (Bactocera papayae), Citrus Leaf Miner (Phyllocnitis citrella), Citrus butterfly (Papilio demanecus malaya), Citrus fruit borer (Citripetris sagitferella), Black Citrus Aphid (Toxoptera citrise) and few others. It can control by chemical such as Deltramethrin, malathion and other insecticide and sanitation or IPM measures. The farmers at Jementah area at Segamat established an association called as "Jementah Pomelo Growers Association" and one of the association tasks is to regulate a surveillance system to control the infestation of pests and diseases. It has more than 50 membership consists of pomelo growers lead by Mr Tan Ching Koi (Foto as below). From my interview with the leaders and members during extension group visits, they claims that the pomelo produced from their area met with the Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) standards to produce high fruits standards quality.



Mr Tan Ching Koi wrapping pomelo at his farm in Jementah, Johor. 
Its takes few months for him to harvest ripe pomelo.


Ripe fruit when crushed, they give off a strong smell. The flowers are yellowish white or plain white, fragrant, solitary and grow to around 2.5 cm wide. The pomelo fruit is the largest of all citrus fruits. Its outer skin is rough and easy to peel. It is light green to yellow and dotted with oil glands. The fruit is either round or oblong with a white thick spongy pith that encloses the edible portion of the fruit. Each fruit consists of 9 to14 segments covered with paper-thin skin. According to Mr Tan Ching Koi as the Association Group Leader, the wrapping of young fruit as tennis bll  size are very significant to prevent the attack of fruit borer. They organised the wrapping activities with proper wrapping material that is used old newspaper and tagged with various color to determine the maturity period. The wrapped fruit are counted so that only adequate amount of fruit numbers per tree able to provide uniform standard fruit size. The unwanted small fruit are removed before wrapping activities. 


The flesh of the fruit is white, light yellow, pink or rose-red, juicy with a sweet sour or spicy sweet taste. Some fruits leave a bitter after taste in the mouth. The seeds are few in number, yellowish white and large.Usage and potential of the pomelo fruit is eaten fresh or processed into juice. The rind is candied or used in jams. Malays boil the rind in a syrup. For cooking purposes, it is sometimes used in place of grapefruit. Many local people like to consume pomelo as fresh by peeling the thick skin with sharp knife. The fresh removed from the skin and eaten raw to most pomelo lovers. The skin are processed with sweet , salty and sour taste as processed junk food served with well packed.  


The Chinese eat the sweet and sour fruit is eaten to fortify the lungs and the spleen. They make various medicament's from the seeds, flowers, mature peel, and slices of young fruit by usually drying them up. It is used in treating cough, swellings, vomiting, indigestion, in removing phlegm and resolving alcohol toxins and hangover. The Malays eat the fruit to treat abdominal pains, oedema and phlegm. The leaves are boiled into a lotion and applied on swellings and ulcers. Pomelo fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C. If you able to pass through Tambun area in Ipoh, Perak or able to visits Jementah Pomelo farms , try to purchase those pomelo fruits with SALM Logo (Accredited Quality Standard) for best quality. The tag price for pomelo ranged from RM 5.00 per piece to RM 12.00 per fruit depending on the variety, freshness, size and what type of car you drives. Have a nice taste of local pomelo fruits. Sayonara!


ASK FOR POMELO....DON'T LETS GO...
BIG POMELO.........DO YOU THINK SO?...
GROW POMELO ... ANY MARKET ALSO...
LEARN ABOUT PEMELO... LIKE TO GROW...


By,
M Anem
Senior Agronomist,
DOA Muar
Johor, 
Malaysia
(Updated on 21 July 2013)

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