IPB University Produces Shallot Varieties with Productivity 3 Times the National Average Production

The shallot research team from IPB University has developed shallot varieties to overcome the challenges of supplying shallots in Indonesia. They succeeded in developing the varieties of shallots of the Tajuk and SS Sakato.

The research team consisted of Dr Awang Maharijaya, Prof Sobir, Prof MA Chozin and Dr Heri Harti. The research team came from the Center for Tropical Horticultural Studies, Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM) IPB University.
Shallots (Allium ascalonicum) is a strategic horticultural commodity in Indonesia. As a horticultural commodity, shallot has an important meaning for Indonesia because it is a raw material for food and industry. Along with the increase in population, the need for shallots will continue to increase.

According to Dr. Awang, the critical point affecting shallot agribusiness activities is the provision of superior varieties and quality seeds from these superior varieties. Production techniques that are more environmentally friendly are required through soil improvement, irrigation and pest and disease control, as well as appropriate post-harvest handling.

“Currently, the national shallot productivity is only around 9.8 tons per hectare. This condition causes the onion business to no longer be too lucrative for farmers due to low yields, even though the risk of failure is very high," said Dr Awang during the Launching of Leading Research Results held by the Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM) IPB University on 30/8 at Science and Techno Park (STP), Taman Kencana Campus, Bogor.

Apart from productivity, he continued, the main problem is too much dependence on the national supply of shallots from Central Java (Brebes and its surroundings). This results in frequent scarcity of onions at certain periods which causes fluctuations in the price of shallots. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen new centers that are capable of producing, especially outside the harvest season in Brebes and surrounding areas to increase production stability.

Dr. Awang Maharijaya, researcher and Head of the Center for Tropical Horticultural Studies (PKHT) said that the development of shallot varieties was carried out based on the shallot development roadmap. Includes a pre-designed breeding roadmap.

“Incidentally, we (PKHT) were also asked to help the Ministry of Agriculture to compile a roadmap for the development of shallots in Indonesia. One of the shallot development programs in Indonesia at that time was to spread production centers, including outside Java, to reduce dependence that was too high (about 89 percent) from the North Coast region (Pantura). At the time of this development, it was seen that there were many very strategic areas for developing shallots, but unfortunately there were no registered varieties suitable for development in these new areas," he added.

Therefore, he continued, the PKHT Research Team collaborated with the Directorate General of Horticulture, local governments and farmers, to carry out exploration. The team then selected the exploration collections that had the potential to be developed in certain areas, which of course were also adjusted to the potential of the local market.

"Since 2015, this activity has been intensively carried out every year with various research funding from basic research to development research," he explained. The result, he said, was that the team succeeded in developing two varieties of shallots. Namely Tajuk and SS Sakato. The Tajuk red onion variety has the advantage of being well adapted to the dry season and resistant to the rainy season, has a very sharp aroma, suitable for fried onions as raw material. Meanwhile, the shallot variety SS Sakato has the advantage of high productivity, which is up to 3 times the national average production.

Furthermore, Dr Awang said that he should be grateful that the dissemination of research results to the public was very good. The indication, for example, is that the two onion varieties (tajuk shallot and SS Sakato) are currently planted on 14,000 hectares of land per year per variety.

"You can imagine that if 1 hectare requires around 1 ton of seed, the economic value of the research results in the community is far above the value of research investments that have been disbursed by funding sources, in this case from the government. The consistency of research funding and this kind of confidence is sorely missed by researchers in Indonesia so that researchers can be thorough in producing and delivering innovative products, "he said.

He and the other research team are grateful that the government and IPB University have supported this red onion research through various schemes according to the roadmap. According to him, red onion research is developing very quickly.

“We got a top-down funding from the institution (IPB University). Support from other related institutions such as Bank Indonesia is also very helpful in accelerating the dissemination of the results of this shallot research to farmers. The latest is the National Research Priority program which is very helpful in providing seeds of this superior variety to farmers. We are very grateful and proud that the trust and investment entrusted for research funding has been able to bear sweet fruit for the community," he said. (*) IAAS/ELS

Published Date : 30-Aug-2022

Resource Person : Dr Awang Maharijaya, Prof Sobir, Prof MA Chozin dan Dr Heri Harti

Keyword : IPB University, shallots, Innovation