Pomelo farm at Jementah Segamat, Johor with clone PO 55 organised by DOA.
Pomelo (Citrus grandis), the largest of citrus fruits, belongs to the family Rutaceae. It is also known as Limau Bali or Limau Tambun (In Malays) or Shaddock in common language. Pomelo derives its name from a word of unknown origin 'pampelmoose'. The tasty fruit is popular locally for its taste and features significantly in the Chinese New Year celebrations. In Malaysia about 1,895 hectare of pomelo grown commercially and estimated production 8,830 metric tons in 2009. Largest growing state was Johor (380 ha) and Perak (310 ha) in which Segamat District alone growing 313 hectare. The most popular clone in Johor was PO 55. This article I would like to share the pomelo technology based on my agriculture extension program for pomelo during my tenure in Melaka and Segamat years ago.
Pomelo believed to be an ancestor of the grapefruit, is native to the Southeast Asian and the Indo-China regions. The exact place of origin is unknown but Malaysia has their own pomelo varieties recorded by DOA. It is most likely from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia where it is found in the wild (mostly small size and not commercial) . The Chinese cultivated it as a crop for thousands of years as it features significantly in the Chinese new year festivities. Variations of pomelo, either bred through selection and propagation or found as natural hybrids, have been cultivated in different places. In 1884, a variety of pomelo, limau bali, was imported into Malaya from Indonesia by Sir Hugh Low and it was grown in Penang and Perak. A peculiar variety found in the Dutch East Indies called the limau wangkang by Malays, consists of a small fruit enclosed inside a larger fruit. Some types of pomelo have no rind. It was grown as ornamental and commercial.
In Southeast Asia, it is grown as a cultivable crop in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. In Malaysia pomelo is widely grown in the state of Johor, Perak, Kedah, Melaka and Kelantan. It is also grown commercially in parts of the USA, Israel, China and Japan and is found growing non-commercially in India, Jamaica and the Middle East. Pomelo, known to be the largest of all citrus fruits, can grow as large as a foot in diameter and weigh up to 25 pounds. Popular variations of the fruit are the P051 and P052 (Registered with DOA Malaysia) where the fruit is sweet and delicious. The latest clone was PO 55 known locally as 'Ledang Variety' that was popular to the Southern Region in Peninsular Malaysia.
The pomelo tree is a large bushy tree with an irregular crown growing to around 5 to 15 m in height. The thorny tree has many branches and it produces fruits all year round. Its bark is brownish yellow and thick. The leaves are simple and grow to about 2 to 12 cm wide. Oil glands are present on them as small dots and this gives the dark green leaves a shiny appearance. manuring program during vegetative period with NPK 15:15:15 for about 150 gram/tree and during Reproductive stage using NPK 12:12:17:2 at 300 gm/tree. The use of 'fish product waste' and organic manure seem to increase productivity and fruit quality. Half bag of chicken dung layered under the canopy each tree for every 4-6 months.
Among pests for pomelo was Fruit Fly (Bactocera papayae), Citrus Leaf Miner (Phyllocnitis citrella), Citrus butterfly (Papilio demanecus malaya), Citrus fruit borer (Citripetris sagitferella), Black Citrus Aphid (Toxoptera citrise) and few others. It can control by chemical such as Deltramethrin, malathion and other insecticide and sanitation or IPM measures. The farmers at Jementah area established an Jementah Pomelo Growers Association and one of the tasks is to regulate a surveilance system to control the infestation of pests and diseases.
Mr Tan Ching Koi wrapping pomelo at his farm in Jementah, Johor. Its takes few months for him to harvest ripe pomelo.
Ripe fruit when crushed, they give off a strong smell. The flowers are yellowish white or plain white, fragrant, solitary and grow to around 2.5 cm wide. The pomelo fruit is the largest of all citrus fruits. Its outer skin is rough and easy to peel. It is light green to yellow and dotted with oil glands. The fruit is either round or oblong with a white thick spongy pith that encloses the edible portion of the fruit. Each fruit consists of 9 to14 segments covered with paper-thin skin.
The flesh of the fruit is white, light yellow, pink or rose-red, juicy with a sweet sour or spicy sweet taste. Some fruits leave a bitter after taste in the mouth. The seeds are few in number, yellowish white and large.Usage and potential. The pomelo fruit is eaten fresh or processed into juice. The rind is candied or used in jams. Malays boil the rind in a syrup. For cooking purposes, it is sometimes used in place of grapefruit.
The Chinese eat the sweet and sour fruit is eaten to fortify the lungs and the spleen. They make various medicament's from the seeds, flowers, mature peel, and slices of young fruit by usually drying them up. It is used in treating cough, swellings, vomiting, indigestion, in removing phlegm and resolving alcohol toxins and hangover. The Malays eat the fruit to treat abdominal pains, oedema and phlegm. The leaves are boiled into a lotion and applied on swellings and ulcers. Pomelo fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C.
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