Monday, March 7, 2011

Technical Visit to a 65-acre Dragon Fruit Plantation In Sibu, Sarawak

I had the chance to visit to one of the biggest dragon fruit plantation in Sibu, Sarawak, East Malaysia. My visit was welcomed by its farm's owner Mr. Yong Ung Tung. The purpose of my visit is a) to observe general performance of the 65-acre farm. b) to identify some problems occurred in the farm and c) to make some remedifications (if any) concerning to my findings.

Here are my findings.

1.The farm is badly affected by soft rot diseases caused mainly by bacteria and fungus. However, the main disease  such as antrachnose has been controlled entirely with good spraying practice with correct chemical application.
2.Farm sanitation is good where all the discarded branches and plant parts which have pruned were thrown away far from the farm. This farm had 20 workers with a supervisor.
3.The farm use fertilization with NPK ratios 15:15:15  which is not suitable for a 6-year plants. This might affect mainly flowering and fruiting.
4.Most of the farm were installed with lightings that is cost MR 4,000 per month only to enhance flowering.
5.There are a lot of weeds and some plants suffered from nutrient deficiency such nitrogen (N).

My suggestions.

1. Fertilization with NPK 12:12:17:2 is recommended and flower hormone is needed to improve flowering and fruiting as well to reduce high lighting cost.
2.Organic fertilizer is needed is to improve tree performance in some areas.
3.Continue with good farm practice and farm surveillance is encouraged for early disease detection.
4.Should the farm is required to sell planting materials, it should follow strictly guidelines recommended by Malaysian Standards (SIRIM).The area should be disease-free and verified.
5.Engage an expert to advise if the farm is to be sustained.

My colleagues Dr.Zainal, Wan Zaki, My self (in red T-shirt) and Mr.Ung Tung

 Mr.Ung Tung,owner of 65-acre dragon fruit farm

General view of the farm

Mr.Kok Peng (Ah Beng,from Penang), Dr.Zainal , Mr.Ung Tung and My Self (in red)
Significant effects of lighting which improve dragon fruit yield.
Product of the farm labelled "Planters Harvest"

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