In anticipating the dry season which might arrive too soon, and the possibility of a long hot summer this year in 2009, corn growers were pleaded to forward their planting schedule by using the TOT [without soil processing] technology. Presently rain still prevailed in several regions so there were still enough water to support corn planting. Climate changes were still unpredictable, it was hard to foresee when rains would stop so it was most difficult for farmers to start planting certain commodities on the right type of soil. Ir. Maxdeyul Sola, Secretary General of the National Corn Council [DJN] disclosed this to Business News Friday [24/4].
At the early stage of growth, up to pollination and yielding of corn required plenty of water, but by the time the corn blomed but watering was not sufficient, the process of filing into the fruits became distorted. Result: the corn was not fully grown and the productivity was low so as a whole, the productivity of plant decreased.
If the growth process of the corn stopped before full maturity, the plant could still used for animal feed. A corn plantation of one ha could yield 100 tons of young com. The market price of young corns for animal feed was around Rp. 100/kg.
What should be publicized to the public was that by season it was not necessary to grow corn until full maturity. Although corn could not be harvested at maturity stage, young corn had its own economic value, at least to keep farmers from losing business. If this program could popularized, young corns for animal feed could become a non oil-gas commodity to be exported to countries like South Korea where corn was not produced but the demand for animal feed was prospective.
Apart from export, corn-based animal feed could also be used to meet the farmers’ own need thereby it could support the national program of self-sufficiency in meat. To speed up this plan, it was expected that the integration of livestock through platform 2, 3, 4 [2 ha of corn plantation, 3 harvest time for 4 cows] for one family of farmer could be realized.
In the effort to expand areas of cornfields, in the past season DJN had developed corn plantations in Karawang. The habit of the communities in Karawang was that after harvest time the soil was left to remain idle while waiting for the rainy season to come. DJN saw the unused soil and opportunity to plant corn for one single season using the TOT technology.DJN’s effort to cultivate corn in non-irrigated land in Karawang had full support from the Government of Karawang Regency, because it was regarded as an opportunity to increase the farmers’ income. For that purpose the Regent of Karawang launched an informative campaign to the farmers in this region who were only wiling to cultivate rice. Furthermore DJN sent for corn farmers from Gorontalo whose task was to transfer technology of corn cultivation to the people of Karawang. The next period of corn plantation would commence on June 2009 next, when rice harvest was over.