The UGM Agrotechnology Innovation Center has developed super smart fertilizer (SSF) for various crops, including tea. Since mid-2023, this product has been applied in the PT Pagilaran tea plantation, owned by UGM.
The results show that this fertilizer can increase tea shoot production up to threefold.
“Trials have been carried out in two areas, namely in the Pagilaran and Kalilandak sections. There has been a significant increase from two harvests, with the highest reaching 320 percent,” said Aji Prasetyo, an Assistant Manager at Pagilaran Production Unit, on Saturday (November 18).
He explained that the production increase varies in the tested areas due to differences in location altitude, plant age, and other factors. Nevertheless, the overall production in all regions shows an increasing trend.
The testing of the quality of the tea produced also shows positive results. Tea production reached 1,800 kg of shoots per hectare in one area for a single harvest.
Two types of SSF, solid and liquid, have been applied in the Pagilaran Production Unit plantation. According to plantation workers, the impact of this fertilizer can be observed significantly in various testing locations.
“In the field, initially, many doubted it, but the data can prove it, and visually, it does look different; for example, the maintenance leaves become shinier,” added Heru Susanto, another Assistant Manager at Pagilaran Production Unit.
Agricultural Product Innovation
SSF is one of the innovations developed by the Head of the UGM Agrotechnology Center, Professor Taryono. This fertilizer is made from compost, biochar, chicken feather hydrolysate, and inorganic fertilizer, with a composition adjusted for each crop type.
Before being developed for tea, SSF had previously been used on rice and corn crops, with positive results as well.
“The SSF manufacturing has been around for a long time, but it was only applied to the Pagilaran tea plantation in May,” Professor Taryono explained.
He further explained that the application of SSF in the Pagilaran tea plantation during the testing process was still below the recommended dosage.
With positive results obtained in the first six months, Professor Taryono is optimistic that this product can be a solution for PT Pagilaran to increase the production of high-quality tea that can be exported to various countries.
He hopes that with an increase in the dosage of fertilizer in the next planting period, production results can continue to be increased to the maximum quantity.
“Hopefully, next year, we can adjust the dosage according to recommendations for use in almost all plantations, especially in the Pagilaran Production Unit. Hopefully, it can benefit PT Pagilaran,” said Professor Taryono.