Purbalingga Regency is one of the 35 regencies in the Central Java Province. Located in its west side, geographical coordinates of Purbalingga are 7.10° – 7.29° S and 101.11° – 109.35° E. Purbalingga is about 77,764 hectare wide or 2.39 % from the total of the width of Central Java Province. Purbalingga is divided by 18 sub districts (third level autonomous region), 224 villages and 15 Kelurahan (fourth level autonomous region). Purbalingga is surrounded by Pemalang Regency in North, Banjarnegara Regency in the east and Banyumas Regency in the west and south.
In Purbalingga, the utmost use of land is in agricultural activities. It is about 43.273 hectare or 56.65% from the total width. The agriculture area is divided into several types of area: 18,311 hectare for the rice field, dry field for about 20,317 hectare, 4,532 hectare of mixed plantation, single plantation for about 16.4 hectare and 95.3 hectare of fishery.
Purbalingga area lay from the lowlands in the south with 42 meter height above sea level to highland in the north with 3.100 meter height. These unique differences cause wide climate variation and, as a result, promote diverse possibilities to develop various agriculture commodities.
Food crop commodities
Southern Purbalingga is lowlands and it is good to develop the food crop commodities such as grains and crops which are supported by its fertile soil; its nice climate and its sufficient water to irrigate the field. Food crops are mostly planted in sub districts of Bukateja, Kemangkon, Kalimanah, Padamara, and half of Kutasari and Bojongsari. Even in the higher area like sub district of Karanganyar, Kertanegara and Karangmoncol, the food crops could also grow well.
Rice is staple foods of almost all Indonesian people, including those living in Purbalingga. Paddy field has the widest land area for about 33,357 hectare. It produces in average 2.33 quintal per hectare and the total rice grains productions are 207,916 ton per year. Rice is also produced from different kind of irrigation technique, such as those produced from dry field. It is estimated that as many as 3,426 ton per year is acquired from 759 hectare. This rice grain production exceeds the need of house hold and industry which resulted in its success to produce surplus for about 30,000 ton per year.
The corn harvest area is about 9,841 hectare. The corn production in average is 31.81 quintal per hectare. The corn production in average is 31.81 quintal per hectare and the total corn production is about 31,302 ton per year. Ever since that corn is not a popular staple food in Purbalingga, people rarely consume it, rather, they use corn as cattle food. Given the fact, the chance to process corn into maize flour, popcorn and corn porridge is wide opened. Moreover, as corn’s production has not sufficiently met the needs of the consumption of household and industry, there might be wide possibilities to develop the capacity of its production in Purbalingga.
The biggest cassava area is in sub districts of Pengadegan, Kejobong and Rembang. The total area is about 9,098 hectare. It produces in average 278.87 quintal per hectare with the total cassava production is about 253,716 ton per year. Cassava is mostly processed into tapioca flour and nearly half of them are consumed as or turned into traditional food.
The total area is around 2,363 hectare. It produces in average 12.78 quintal per hectare, which is relatively smaller than other crops. It appears that because most of the farmers treat the peanut not as the primary crop, rather as an optional one. Peanut is the main goods of home industry, preferably snack and it’s by products can be utilized as cattle foods. The local peanut production has not met the market needs in Purabalingga.
The total area is 234 hectare. It produces in average 55.33 quintal per hectare. The total sweet potato production is 1,329 ton per year. Sweet potato is usually consumed as traditional food.
The total area is around 551 hectare. It produces in average 13.52 quintal per hectare and yielded 13.52 ton per year. Soya bean is processed into one of traditional foods with simple technology (tofu and tempe) and also the main goods of ketchup production. The soya bean production is still very low and the local production has not met the consumers need. Even worse, the production has not met the consumers need. Even worse, the production of tempe and tofu largely relies on imported white soya bean as its main goods. Given these circumstances, the possibilities to invest in soya bean plantation, either the white soya bean or the black one, is still wide open.
The horticulture crops are developed mostly in northern highland Purbalingga. The vegetables and fruits are planted in sub districts of Karangreja and half of that Mrebet.
The total area is 445 hectare. It produces in average 183.71 quintal per hectare with total potato production around 8,175 ton per year. Potato is the most wanted commodity due to its constant price and its higher margin. In addition to meet the need of local consumption, the potato is also traded in other regions, especially in big cities like Jakarta and Semarang.
The total area is 348 hectare. It produces in average 183.47 quintal per hectare with 6,524 ton total cabbage production per year. People use the cabbages as the main ingredient for vegetable soup. Cabbage produce experienced surplus and is traded to other regions.
The total area is 198 hectare. It produces in average 194.04 quintal per hectare with 3,842 ton total carrot production per year.
The total area is 496 hectare. It produces in average 36.59 quintal per hectare and its total beans production is 1,815 ton per year.
The total area is 170 hectare. It produces in average 60.35 quintal per hectare and its total chili production is 1,026 ton per year.
The total area is 176 hectare. It produces in average 47.73 quintal per hectare with 840 ton total leek production per year.
Half of Purbalingga area is really good to plant fruits. Several kinds of fruits are grown in Purbalingga, such as: orange, duku, durian, banana, and Salacca. The fruits are planted in the dry area surround sub districts of Kaligondang, Pengadegan, Kejobong and Bukateja.
Siem orange is planted mostly in Bukateja. The siem orange total production is 127,203 quintal per year with 196,543 total productive crops.
Purbalingga has various types of banana. The banana total production is 89,884 quintal per year with 537,568 total productive crops.
The durian is grown in sub districts of Kemangkon, Kejobong and Pengadegan. With its specific taste, Purbalingga durian has its own merit if we compare with other regions’ durian. The durian total production is 52,226 quintal per year with 28,868 total productive crops.
With total production crops, Salacca total production is 45,609 quintal per year. Purbalingga Salacca has similar taste with other regions’ produce.
As one of the exotic fruits which grow in tropical zone, rambutan is also well grown in Purbalingga. With 80,630 ton total production crops, rambutan total produce is 41,005 quintal per year.
Duku is one of Purbalingga prime fruits. Duku grows in specific region and not every region has duku as their specific fruit. With its unique taste, duku has been sold to big cities in Indonesia. The duku total produce is 33,604 quintal per year with 49,793 total productive crops.
Also, Purbalingga has small amount of produce of sour soup, mangosteen, pineapple, tan, mango, avocado and guava.
Until recently, the plantation commodity in Purbalingga has not been well cultivated. The nature potency such as its fertile soil and its good climate has not been maximized. However, many peasants and the government have pioneered several kinds of plantation crops development, such as pepper, nilam, sugarcane, coconut, and Gambier jasmine.
Purbalingga is the biggest exporter of pepper in Central Java. A percentage of 46% of pepper in Central Java market is produced in Purbalingga. Pepper is mostly cultivated in Pengadegan and Kejobong with 212.40 hectare total area and 307 ton total dry seed produce per year. The pepper plantation’s development is still open either in the on farm stage by increasing population and rising productivity or by means of processed goods. The pepper market chance in Indonesia or abroad is still wide opened.
Nilam Commodity is needed by the market. Nilam is the main goods of perfume, soap and medicines. The total area is 607.10 hectare. The total production of dry nilam leaves are 5,039 ton per year. The export chance to international market is still open because the product is favoured mostly in Japan, India and Europe.
Coconut tree is widely grown in almost every area of Purbalingga. People plant the coconut in every agricultural farm, plantation and village. Of 12,032 hectare of the total area, this sector can produce 12,366 ton copra per year. This coconut is the main goods of coconut oil production.
The half of the coconut produce in Pubalingga is aimed at producing the palm sugar. Of 5,168 hectare of the total area, Deres coconut produces 52,879 to of palm sugar per year. The development of deres coconut’s plantation is still open either in increasing the number of coconut trees or the implementation of modern technology in palm sugar processing in order to increase palm sugar productivity. Palm sugar industry also supports ketchup industry as the secondary industry of palm sugar commodity.
As the main goods of sugar, the number of sugarcane crop in Indonesia is very low. Purbalingga, the sugarcane area is just 56 hectare with 215 to total production per year. The opportunity to invest more in Purbalingga is still open mostly for the dry sugarcane plantation. The sugarcane areas include sub districts of Kaligondang, Kemangkon, Mrebet and half of Bojongsari.
Gambier jasmine is planted in Bukateja with total area around 425.23 hectare and produces as many as 3.269 ton wet flower each year. This commodity promotes high economic value commodity but it needs specific soil and climate. For that reason, the Gambier jasmine can not well developed in other areas.
Source: Vision of Purbalingga, Drs. Triyono Budi Sasongko, M.Si.