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Friday, March 12, 2010

Growing Brassica (SAWI)

Brasicca or Sawi (Brassica spp) is a leafy vegetable under CRUCIFERAE family and grown as commercial CASHCROP. The height of sawi ranged from 25-30 cm and has 5-6 leaves with between 9-12 cm width. It suitable in tropical climate and grown on standard raised bed. It also suitable to grow using Hydroponic and Fertigation Technology. Among popular variety of sawi in Malaysia are Sawi Bunga, Sawi Kerinting, Sawi Pahit, Sawi Pendek and Sawi Putih. Every 100 gram of sawi contain 2.1 gm protein, 4.7 gm carbohydrate, 147 gm calcium , many other vitamins and Niacin.

In 2009 about 8,890 hectare (CHE) of sawi was grown in Malaysia producing 118,610 metric tons of fresh sawi. Johore is the largest state growing sawi in Malaysia with Johor Bahru District (1,567 ha) followed by Muar District (735 ha) and Kota Tinggi (612 ha) in 2009. From my experience the average production of sawi about 8-14 mt/ha based on study at Kg Sengkang Muar, Johor on shallow peat soil. With proper management system in the farm, sawi normally harvested in 28-30 days after planting. The shortest sawi was harvested in 24-25 days.

Land preparation started 14 days before planting and bed preparation accordingly. GML (Rate at 2.5 mt/ha) and organic fertilizer (at 3.5 mt/ha) application prepared on raised bed. Most sawi seeds was imported and expensive. Seeds at 1.5 kg/ha treated with fungicide (about 4.5 gm of Thiram) before mixed with fine sand ( 1 tin milkpot) and arrange planting in rows on the beds. Fertilizer application with NPK 13:13:6:4 after 6-7 days after sowing and start the thinning activity after 9-10 days with planting distance 10 cm x 15 cm. Second manuring program with NPK 15:15:15 about 100 kg/ha applied on 10 days after sowing. Weeding done manually and whereby the leaves count between 4-6 leaves. After 17 days apply NPK 15:15:15 (200 kg/ha) and spray foliar fertilizer (20 gm Fertilizer with 16 liter water).

Among popular pest for sawi in Malaysia was Helulla Worm (Hellula undalis) controlled with BT (Bacillus thruringiesis) or Trichloron, Chlorifluazuron, deltamethrin or dimethoate. Other pests was Ratus Worm (Spodoptera litura) which attack leaves and shoots and controlled by spraying cypermethrin, trichlorin or deltamethrin as label. Plutella (Plutella xylostella) attack the leaves and make holes and controlled with BT or pesticide. Other pest was Phylloretta cruciferae, Ulat Pangkas (Agrotis ypsilon) , Mites (Aphids spp) and Leaf Miner (Phytomyza spp). The most recent pest for sawi is Snail (Lamellasis gracillis - small snail and Sabulina octona -Long Snail) and controlled with methaldehyde or drainage improvement.

Sawi diseases was Soft Rot (Erwinia carotovora) that damage the leaves and bad smell and controlled by Good agriculture Practices (Burnt affected sawi and improve drainage system and water logged area). Leaf Rot or Reput Pangkal daun (Rhizoctonia solani) controlled with difenoconazole or pencycuron. Other disease in sawi was Lecuh anak benih (Phytium spp) and controlled by spraying propamocarb hydrochloride.

From my survey study, cost of production of sawi in Muar, Johor about RM 4,900.00 /ha and if yield for 9,000 kg produced in a hectare and farm gate price at RM 1.00/kg give gross farm income about RM 9,000.00/ha. Net Farm income calculated at RM 4,100/ha for 30 days period. Cost of production for every kg of sawi about RM 0.54 and farmers gain RM 1.83f or every one ringgit spent. Growing sawi is a profitable ventures.


M Anem
Muar, Johor

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