By: Sahrudin – @SahrudinSaja
PAKIS District in Magelang Regency has been named as one of major roses-growing areas in the Province of Central Java.
It’s been said that the district located west slope of Mount Merbabu contributes about a quarter of Central Java’s total roses harvest per season.
Freshly picked red and white, widely cultivated roses by farmers, sold in baskets to Magelang Municipality, Purworejo Regency, and surrounding cities.
A basket of roses is equal to two kilograms.
Bulk rose petals are most often used as, ranging from wedding venue decorations, to things people usually bring to the grave.
Roses price goes up and down. White roses is much cheaper than the red ones.
Sometimes roses price soars as much as 800,000 IDR (69 USD) per basket.
But other times, it drops to 400,000 to 500,000 IDR, even falls sharply to only 5,000 and 2,000 IDR per basket.
Roses price shoots up because of the increased demand, for instance, ahead of Idul Fitri celebration.
During the days many people go to the cemetry, and spreading rose petals on top of the grave, to remember and honor loved ones that have passed.
Demand of roses is also steadily increasing during the month of Syaban in the Islamic calendar or Ruwah in the Javanese calendar, before Ramadhan fasting month.
In the month of Ruwah, many Javanese Muslims have their own way of welcoming Ramadhan, with a tradition called “nyadran”.
The “nyadran” tradition can be performed either individually or in a group, by visiting the cemeteries of parents and other deceased relatives.
All these things need freshly picked roses to carry.
THERE is no exact data on how many farmers growing roses in Pakis District.
What we know so far, roses farming can be found at least in 10 among 20 villages in the district.
Besides roses a farmer generally also cultivates another plants like cabbage, chilli and tomatoes, which planted in different plots of land.
They expect income from other plants can cover the loss when roses price is falling.
“Roses do not like getting their feet too wet. So we plant them in areas that have reasonable drainage,” said Slamet, a roses farmer in Gumelem Village, Pakis District.
“Most roses will not thrive in poor soil. We often improve the soil with well rotted farm or chicken and goat manure,” said Prihati, Slamet’s wife.
Roses farmers in Pakis District have not yet entered into business agreement or cooperation with any perfume manufacturers.***