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Small in shape, big benefits & advantages (1)

Reporter: Tri Sulistiowati, Kornelis Pandu Wicaksono | Editor: Havid Vebri

Hearing the word cloves, most people immediately think of this spice which is commonly used as a spice in the kitchen. Apart from the cigarette seasoning, of course. Indeed, this plant from the Myrtaceae family is widely used as a spice in cooking.

However, cloves also have many other benefits: they work as a toothache remedy and can relieve nausea and indigestion. In addition, the strong aroma of cloves can be used to fragrance or preserve the freshness of items stored in closed containers.

These many benefits have attracted many people to cultivating cloves. Muhammad Ikhmad from Pandeglang, Banten, for example. He has been cultivating cloves since the 1990s.

Being a clove farmer is a hereditary profession in her family. Currently he has about 2 hectares (ha) of land planted with thousands of clove tree seedlings. However, Ikhmad only seeds clove trees which are then sold to clove farmers. “The clove market is currently quite large,” he said.

Most of the consumers are residents around Serang and Tangerang. The selling price of clove seeds is adjusted to the size of the seeds. Clove seeds as high as 50 centimeters (cm) are valued at IDR 25,000 per tree. Meanwhile, seeds measuring 1 meter (m) are offered for IDR 50,000 per tree. “Within a month I can get a turnover of at least Rp. 10 million,” said Ikhmad.

Another farmer who also cultivates cloves is Maman Sarna in Cianjur. He said that most of the people in his village, in Cidaun, live from growing cloves. Even though he only started planting cloves about three weeks ago on a 1 ha area, Maman understood quite well how to cultivate this plant.

He said the clove tree took about four years to mature and be ready for harvest. Maman said that cultivating cloves was quite profitable. For each mature tree, it can produce as much as 50 kilograms (kg) of cloves per harvest. “The people here each harvest get a turnover of Rp. 2 million to Rp. 3 million per tree,” he said.

Maman planted about 100 clove trees in 1 ha of land. With the assumption that one tree can generate a turnover of around Rp. 2 million, it means that Maman has the potential to reach a turnover of up to Rp. 200 million per harvest.

Maman said, farmers usually sell to the closest collectors. The selling price of super quality cloves to collectors is IDR 127,000 per kg. Meanwhile, low quality cloves are priced at IDR 60,000 per kg.