An Overview of Porang
Does Porang (Amorphophallus oncophyllus) has Bright Future ???–In recent years Porang (Amorphophallus oncophyllus) plants have become the hottest commodity that is much discussed in Indonesia. The economic value is higher than other plants and the increasing demand for industrial as a raw material cause this plant to become a prime commodity. Commonly Some farmers in Indonesia have gradually started to cultivate porang plants even though the cultivation time of this is longer than vegetable crops (cabbage, chili, tomato) or food crops (rice, maize, beans). In general, The harvesting time of Porang plants ussually in 1 to 3 years after planting.
Biologically, the porang species (Amorphophallus oncophyllus) is a plant member of the Araceae family. This is one of the corpse flowers because of its unpleasant and rotten odor. Porang species are secondary plants because it is planted intercropping under forest stands (teak, mahogany, albizia) or shade on the edge of community forests and shrubs. Porang plants have special characteristics that are tolerant to shade between 40%-60%.
Morphologically, porang plants can be described in brief. Firstly, porang tuber is a single tuber because each porang tree produces only one tuber. The diameter of the porang tuber can reach 28 centimeters (cm) with a weight of 3 kilograms (kg), the outer surface of the tuber is dark brown, and the inside is yellowish-brown. Secondly, flowers will grow during the rainy season from tubers that do not experience leaf growth (flush). Thirdly, the stems of the porang are upright, soft, and green with some white spots. meanwhile, porang leaves include compound leaves and divided into several leaves with light green to dark green color. Leaflets are ellipses with pointed leaf tips, smooth, and wavy leaf surface texture. At each meeting of secondary stems and axillary leaves, an asymmetrical bulb (bulbil) will grow with a diameter between 10-45 millimeters (mm), namely generative tubers used as plant propagation material.
Based on the suitability of the environment, this plant can grow and develop well in certain environmental conditions. Porang generally can grow on dry land at an altitude up to 800 meters (m) above sea level (asl), but the best locations are in areas with an altitude of 100-600 meters (m) above sea level (asl). For growth, this plant requires a temperature of 25-35oC, and rainfall of 1,000-1,500 mm/ year. When the temperature is above 35oC, plant leaves will burn while the plant becomes dormant at low temperatures. Warm and humid conditions are necessary for leaf growth, while dry conditions are necessary for yam development. Like other yam plants, porang plants will grow and produce good yams on light to medium textured soil, loose, fertile, with a high content of organic matter because porang plants are happy with soil with good soil aeration.
The Rise, Potential, and Benefits of Porang
Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture noted that Porang exports in the period January to July 28, 2020, amounted to 14,568 tons with a value of 801.24 billion Rupiah. The value tends to increase when compared to the previous year which was only 11,720 tons or worth 644 billion. The main destination export of porang commodities is China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan. This shows that the porang plant can be a good opportunity for business in the future.
At the farmer level in Indonesia, many farmers have felt the positive impact of the increasing demand for porang. Paidi is one of the success stories of farmers who were able to turn porang into a source of wealthiness. He is a former scavenger from Kepel village, Kare sub-district, Madiun Regency, East Java Province and became successful because he cultivated the porang.
Based on his experience in Cultivating Porang, he believes that planting Porang is very profitable. From 1 hectare (10,000 m2) of porang land, he can make a profit of IDR 700 million in two years. In terms of capital expenditure, the investment cost to plant porang is around Rp. 100 million, which is used to buy seeds and costs for fertilization and maintenance. Paidi explained that 1 hectare of land could contain around 40,000 porang. After his long journey with porang, he founded a porang marketing company called PT Paidi Indo Porang and he invited farmers to work together. He helped by preparing seeds for the farmers and accommodating of the farmers’ harvesting crops.
Of course, this success story has become a magnet for other farmers in Indonesia to plant porang. Many farmers in Indonesia cultivate Porang and they become successful because the yields are very profitable. Many farmers on the island of Java and perhaps outside Java have started to develop porang as their alternative crops, mainly cultivated under perennial trees.
In nutrition, porang has many benefits because it contains high glucomannan substances. It is very useful for weight control, lowering cholesterol, overcoming diabetes, as a prebiotic, waterproof coating, weaving reinforcement in the textile industry, microbial growth media, and paper-making materials. Glucomannan compounds in Porang are raw material various food industries, including for food products, such as shirataki (in the form of noodles). The relatively high glucomannan content is a specific feature of the porang tuber.
In Now and then, the demand for porang that tends to increase from several industries and for exports to foreign countries is the potential for the development of the Porang plant itself because the high demand can still be developed for planting Porang in extended regions in Indonesia. However, the price will be determined by supply and demand so that farmers in Indonesia must prepare for the risks in relation with the price that could go down due to the increasing number of porang cultivators in several regions in Indonesia. Of course, farmers cannot rely on just one commodity because the dynamic condition will always exist. Porang is still a promising commodity until now, but in the future, everything can change.
Thank you and hopefully it is useful.
Source of Article Does Porang (Amorphophallus oncophyllus) has Bright Future ???:
Antara News.2020. Diminati pasar ekspor, Mentan dorong budi daya tanaman porang. Accessed via https://www.antaranews.com/berita/1638194/diminati-pasar-ekspor-mentan-dorong-budi-daya-tanaman-porang in May 10, 2021.
Kompas. 2021. Mengenal Porang, Si Umbi Liar yang Jadi Primadona Ekspor Komoditas Pertanian. Accessed via https://regional.kompas.com/read/2021/03/20/111100078/mengenal-porang-si-umbi-liar-yang-jadi-primadona-ekspor-komoditas-pertanian?page=all#page2. on May 10, 2021.
Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Tanaman Pangan. 2015. Tanaman Porang Pengenalan, Budidaya, dan Pemanfaatannya. Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Tanaman Pangan, Litbang Kementerian Pertanian.