IMPERIUMDAILY.COM-MALANG- Malang and Batu City are known as The City of Apple. Because indeed in Indonesia at that time the apple could only be found in the region around Malang.
According to Suhariyono from the Indonesian Citrus and Subtropical Fruit Research Institute for Agricultural Research and Development as published in http://balitjestro.litbang.pertanian.go.id/, apple first entered Indonesia around the 1930s that brought by the Dutch from Australia then plant it in the Nongkojajar area (Pasuruan Regency).
In 1953, the People’s Plantations Section (now: Horticultural Research Institute) brought in several types of apples from abroad, including Rome Beauty and Princess Noble. Furthermore, since 1960 apple plants have been widely planted in Malang and Batu to replace orange plants that have been attacked by a disease. Since then the apple plant continues to grow until now in the highlands of Batu City, Poncokusumo (Malang Regency) and Nongkojajar (Pasuruan Regency).
Apple’s heyday peaked in the 1970s. The Indonesian Citrus and Subtropical Fruit Research Institute (Balitjestro) currently has a collection of about 73 varieties of apple germplasm, of which there are 10 hope apple varieties.
However, in other literature, the history of apples in Indonesia began when imported from Australia in 1934 and was first planted in Tebo Pujon Village in Malang Regency by 20 varieties (Kusumo and Surahmat, 1974) and in its development Batu, Malang and Nongkojajar Pasuruhan East Java became areas Apple production centers in Indonesia where apple crops have been cultivated by farmers around 1950.
After 1960 the apple plant continued to grow rapidly (Wahyudu T, 1980). During the years 1984 – 1988 apple plants in East Java showed rapid development, in 1984 7,303,372 trees were growing to 9,047,276 trees in 1988 or an increase of 4.7% each year.
While production increased from 146,690 tons in 1984 to 275,065 tons in 1988, an increase of 17.5% annually (Puji Santoso et al, 1991). From the data of the agriculture service (2008), before 2000 the number of apples in Batu was 3,107,195 trees. This amount produces 147 thousand tons of fruit per year. However, in 2004 it decreased to 1 million trees. In 2004 apple trees numbered 2 million trees and only produced productivity of 46 thousand tons per year.
As the rapid development of apples in East Java, the development also emerges various pests and major diseases of apple plants which most of the pests can be overcome by farmers but the disease always appears one after another. Among these are the diseases of Powdery Mildew (0idium sp.) which caused by the fungus Prospera leucotricha (Junell L, 1967) had appeared in Indonesia in the 1960s since large-scale apple plants were cultivated (Sastrahidayat I.I, 1983).
In 1985 in the Batu Malang area it was reported that almost 90 percent of the Apple plants in Batu was attacked by this fungus with an intensity of up to 54.45 percent and reduced production by 50%. (Aka)