The city of Malang was once dubbed the Paris of East Java, because of its beautiful natural conditions, its cool climate and clean city, like its "Paris" city of East Java. But the nickname seemed to be about to change. Malang is not as cold as it used to be.
That I felt while visiting the city some time ago. I was tasked to cover the angst of apple farmers in Batu, Malang, who had felt the impact of global warming on apple crops that had been the mainstay of the city.
Accompanied by a contributor in Malang, I ride the motor to the District Poncokusumo, which is located somewhat above the city of Malang. There I was greeted by Muhammad Irwan from the Communication Forum of Young Farmers Poncokusumo.
He recalled, apple plant in Malang brought by the Dutch meneer whose name is Kreben, circa 1930s. He was the first to plant an apple in Nokojajar area. The golden age of apples in Poncokusumo and Batu began in the 1970s. Farmers who originally plant coffee in droves turn to apple farmers.
Suratmadi, another farmer who accompanied me, added, the heyday of Malang apple occurred in the 80s. At that time the farmers earned profits doubled.
They can build a flashy house. Rows of luxury homes can be seen along the road Sidomulyo, Batu. Unfortunately the glory of Malang apples began to decline. Said Suratmadi, Malang apple was big, watery and hard. Not too soft, not too sweet, taste fitting asemnya.
Now, the blooming apple blooms can suddenly languish. Even so, the fruit is small. First apple sekilo consists of three apples. Now, it takes seven to ten apples, almost three times as much.
Many apple farmers who began to fall, went bankrupt, the remnants of glory seen from sturdy homes, but the economic excitement lethargic. So do not be surprised if in Batu many vehicles are mortgaged, or apple orchard is dianggurin because it is running out of capital, or even the garden is sold.
The cause of this setback is one of them due to global warming. I had met with Purnawan from Walhi Malang who had predicted the occurrence of rising temperature in the city.
He said the local government's desire to develop Batu as an agro-tourism area in the early 1990s actually damaged the naturalness of the region. In the early 1970s, temperatures in Batu could reach 18-22 degrees Celsius. Suitable for planting apples. Now, the temperature can be 30 degrees Celsius. Come up Jakarta.The number of population and vehicles that continue to grow makes Malang not cool anymore. Usually, apple plants are easily found on the roadside. Now, on the side of the road there are only hotels, villas, restaurants and souvenir shops. If you want to find an apple, have to go to Sumber Brantas Village, which is located far above the mountain.
Local governments consider the development of tourism should be with many hotels, discos and golf courses. As a result soil to plant the apple increasingly narrow, temperatures added hot, the edges of apple Manalagi which became an icon of Batu city was almost extinct.
This condition makes some apple farmers directly swerved into other businesses such as ornamental plant production or planting vegetables, but there are trying to survive even without certainty.