Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - Sigarar Utang coffee, like arabica coffee of Medan, North Sumatra, is now being developed in Bengkulu on land with an altitude of about 1,000 meters avove sea level.
Some 44,000 sigarar utang coffee trees in the Mangkorajo hills in Lebon regency, had been developed since 2006, and since 2007 also developed in Mojorejo village, Rejang Lebong regency as pilot project, said Madihi, staff member of the Bengkulu Provincial Forestry Agency, said on Thursday.
He said that the superior species coffee crops from Medan are currently being raised by each of the 50 families, and these crops are growing well and promising.
The coffee crops from Medan are being developed under a routine program of the Forestry Agency since 2006 with funding amounting to Rp 250 million from the Regional State Budget each year.
Sigarar Utang coffee needs shorter time to bear fruits, namely only 1.8 years, compared to more than three years needed by robusta coffee raised by Bengkulu growers.
The production of dried Sigarar Utang coffee beans in each hectare reaches 5.1 tons per year at a price double that of Robusta coffee which is now selling at Rp13.000/Kg, he said.
In the beginning, the coffee was raised in Pondok Gajah village in Takengon, Southeast Aceh, in 1985, followed by Lintong Ni Huta Simborong-Borong village in North Tapanuli, North Sumatra.
As it takes a shorter time to bear fruits compared to ordinary coffee, people in Simalungun called it Sigarar Utang coffee (coffee for payment of debts), Madihi said.
Head of the Bengkulu Provincial Plantation Agency Taswin Munir said on a different occasion that the land of the coffee crops in Bengkulu province had reached 125,764 ha, with an average production of 71,219 tons, involving 94,903 farmer families.
Of the coffee crops on the 89.023 ha of land, 24.455 ha are not yet bearing fruits.
Coffee in Bengkulu province, besides rubber and cocoa, have been the region`s main farm commodities. (*)