Southeast Sulawesi Province is one of the national citrus production centers. Citrus plantations in Southeast Sulawesi could be found in several districts of Konawe, South Konawe, Kolaka, Buton and Muna. South Konawe earned the nickname as a farming paradise in Southeast Sulawesi, as many agricultural commodities are produced from the area, one of which is citrus.
National citrus production has decreased in the last few years, and so is the case in South Konawe as a citrus production center in Southeast Sulawesi in which tangerine and mandarin citrus are cultivated. The harvest areas decrease by 9.70% during 2011-2015 with an area of 48,119 thousand ha. Efforts should be made to maintain the stability of citrus fruit production and to cope with the declining production of citrus.
One of the efforts to overcome this is by applying Integrated Management of Healthy Citrus Orchard (IMHCO) by farmers. To further accelerate the transfer of technology, training was conducted by the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD) through research teams and technicians from Indonesian Citrus and Subtropical Fruits Research Institute and AIAT of Southeast Sulawesi, at 28-29 July 2017. In South Konawe, citrus plants are grown on dry land so that the application of IMHCO is based on the local condition there.
The training was attended by farmers of group members in the village of Aunupe and extension officers of Wolasi sub-district as many as 30 people. The location for the implementation practice of the technology was selected from farms belonging to the farmers which then made into a demoplot.
The training materials were IMHCO in general, but based on the problems and plant conditions in the field, emphases were made on several technical issues such as pruning maintenance, fertilization and control of Diplodia disease.
Farmers and officers were briefed on plant conditions, soil fertility and diplodia disease attacks at demoplot sites. In the future, other technologies such as pruning, applying fertilizer and disease control of Diplodia could be given.
By doing this activity, it is expected that technology adoption will increase which then could improve citrus plantation condition in South Konawe. Later, it is also expected that the citrus will be main source of income of farmers which could improve the farmers’ welfare and society in general (Susi et al./ tr: Bq)