Box 3.3 Planting gliricidia from stem cuttings in Indonesia

Tengku H. Ibrahim from Pidie in Aceh Province raises goats. He owns about 300 head consisting of 150 does, 8 bucks and their offspring. Most are a local cross called PE (Peranakan Etwah). Every month he sells 20-30 head, either as breeding stock or for slaughter. Most births are twins, although triplet and quadruplet births sometimes occur. The average birth weight is 3.1 kg.

To feed his large flock (by Indonesian standards), he planted 8 ha of Gliricidia sepium (gliricidia), mostly local available lines, but he also planted seed of the more productive new provenance Retalhuleu. He is very observant and has become an expert in managing and feeding gliricidia to goats. He can recognize lines by their leaf shape and which lines are preferred by his goats. He told us recently, "I love planting gliricidias. They are so good for my goats, very productive, and easy to manage, once they are established".

Here are his tips on successful establishment of gliricidia from stem cuttings:

1. Preparation of planting materials,

  • For wet season planting, use 7-9 month old stem cuttings; for dry season planting, use 15-24 month old cuttings, the older the better,
  • Stems should be cut at 50-100 cm or longer. If grown in polybags, use shorter stems about 30-40 cm long,
  • The lower part of the stem should be sharpened,
  • If planted in the dry season, plant the cuttings immediately; if planted in the wet season, the stems should be kept for two days before planting,
  • Seedlings grown in polybags should be transplanted at an age of 4 months,
  • Survival is best when the upper part of the stems (50-80 cm) is painted or covered with a plastic sheet, especially when planted in the dry season.
2. Planting and management
  • Plant into moist but not waterlogged soil. If the soil is dry, water the soil,
  • Plant cuttings 10 cm deep, at a spacing of 1x1 m or wider,
  • Replace stems that do not root, termites can be controlled by insecticide,
  • Survival is usually about 90%.
  • Plants should not be cut until they are at least one year old.
Source: Ir. Mansyur, Ghazali Zainal and Maimunah Tuhulele 1999


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