Sitting staring at the cigarette lying on my desk I recalled my childhood memories. About a hill which, in my opinion at the time, was very far from the green color of the clove leaf. And on a regular basis a year changes color. Sometimes reddish yellow, sometimes reddish pink, sometimes yellowish green, and sometimes evenly green. From a distance I was able to smell the clove aroma because in my house, my father was a tobacco merchant concocted who of course also sold cloves.
But that time is gone. The heyday of clove plantations in Lampung is now eroded by the presence of other commodities which are considered more profitable for farmers. Although it still plays an important role in the plantation sector, the existence of clove plantations is now decreasing. At present there are only 1,296 hectares of clove plantations in Lampung and focused on three sub-districts in South Lampung, namely Rajabasa, Kalianda, and Katibung.
The decline in the number of clove plantations in Lampung Province was triggered by excessive production in the 1990s which made the price of Lampung cloves drop dramatically, causing farmers to lose money. After the incident, many farmers were reluctant to take care of their clove plants and switch to other commodities that they felt were more profitable.
In order to restore the heyday of clove plantations in Lampung, the Lampung provincial government continues to hold clove planting socialization, especially in South Lampung. With the socialization, farmers are expected to plant cloves again, and be able to increase productivity and the quality of the cloves produced to be even better. In addition, the government also provided technical training to farmers by forming farmer groups, which are now concentrated in the villages of Canggung and Hargo Pancuran in Rajabasa District, and Kecapi Village in Kalianda District.
With the training and provision of superior seeds and fertilizers, farmers can be more enthusiastic. If farmers have technical knowledge in clove farming, it is expected that an increase in clove productivity can be achieved. In addition, the quality of the crop will be even better because farmers have also been provided with ways to deal with pests and plant diseases.
Pesisir Barat Regency is also a targeted area to reopen clove plantations. 100,000 clove seedlings have been distributed to eight regions on the west coast of Lampung, and this assistance will continue to grow if more farmers are interested in reopening clove plantations.
The big push from the high Lampung provincial government to boost clove production is expected to be able to move farmers to plant cloves again, so that Lampung can return to being a reliable producer of clove commodities in the future.