In 2018 he joined the Griya Organik farmers group fostered by Adaro Bangun Negeri Foundation (YABN). Equipped with the knowledge gained from YABN and his own skill, Sugito tried to cultivate dragon fruit on his land.
From the beginning, he was not afraid to compete with the large dragon fruit that was cultivated conventionally, namely using pesticides to treat plant pests and uses hormones to enlarge the fruit.
Sugito's enthusiasm and persistence in cultivating organic dragon fruit began to show the results. The average fruit he harvested was around one kilogram for each.
Whereas the standard size of dragon fruit grade A or the best quality is 600 gram and above.
“The quality of fruit depends on the way it is treated, such as applying organic fertilizer, watering, also treating it when flowers appear," Sugito revealed the secret.
He said, when flowers come out, the plants are given fertilizer, do pruning, select flowers to get large flower size.
If there are stunted fruit, cut them to replace with new flowers.
Do not let the vine get too long to get close to the ground. If the rainfall high, the fruit can be splashed by groundwater which can cause fungal attacks.
Not only in term of weight, in term of storage, it is also longer. At room temperature, Sugito's fruit can be stored for about 15 days.
In addition, in term of taste, the fruit also has a sweeter taste.
One of visitors, Husaini, said dragon fruit he usually eats is predominantly bland. According to him, it was different when eating Sugito's organic dragon fruit.
“It taste sweeter, but there is a little sourness, softer and chewy," he said.
What is also great, since March 2020, which was the first harvest, until now the dragon fruit orchard is always harvesting, never ending.
“From the beginning of harvest around March until now the harvest has never cut off, there is always fruit and this is natural that there is nothing added in the orchard," Sugito told.
For approximately nine months, there were yields of about 500 kg from 300 trees harvested. It sold at average price of Rp15 thousand per kg.
Sugito continues to develop his dragon fruit orchard and currently there are approximately 1,000 trees have been planted.
Hopefully Sugito's story to inspire other farmers.
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