Shallots, an onion variety, is the second major horticultural crop after hot peppers in Indonesia. But Indonesia is not self-sufficient in shallot production resulting in imports from countries like India, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Government of Indonesia aims to increase the shallot production to meet the increasing domestic demand and to reduce imports.
True shallot seed system
Due to the use of inferior planting material yields are much lower than potential. An alternative system is based on true shallot seed (TSS) that uses disease free seed as starting material. But this system can only be applied for well-defined agro-ecological conditions. Insight in the agro-ecological suitability of cropland in Indonesia for TSS systems is helpful to identify areas that are most promising.
Mapping land suitability
For this purpose gridded information on soils, climate and land use was combined with specific shallot requirements. Based on this mapping, grid cells were identified that are suitable for TSS systems. Analysis resulted in a series of maps of suitable cropland area for true shallot systems in Indonesia as well as maps showing relevant climate, soil and terrain variables. About 900,000 ha cropland is identified as potentially suitable for TSS systems based on stringent requirements for a number of soil and terrain characteristics. When more relaxed requirements are used, the suitable cropland area increases to almost 5 million ha.
Results are presented at the website www.mappinglandsuitability.nl
This research was conducted by Wageningen University & Research in close cooperation with De Groot en Slot, a Dutch seed onion firm. The research was made possible by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta.