The residents of West Java must be familiar with ‘Garut’. This city is also known as ‘the city of diamond’ for having Indonesia’s precious wealth, starting from food, culture, traditions, tourist attractions, and even spices; but Garut is very popular for its authentic food called ‘dodol’.
Besides dodol, Garut is also known to be the biggest tobacco city in West Java. The fertile soil and beautiful nature of Garut make tobacco plants grow well.
This city has some great areas for growing tobacco. It is because tobacco planting does not only depend on the land with height of 600 – 1200 meters above sea level, but also other factors; and, Garut has all of that which makes the tobacco produced there can meet the market standards.
One of the best areas for planting tobacco in Garut is the Gunung Putri area, precisely in the District of Tarogong Kaler. The area that is famous for paragliding tourism turns out to have such a fertile soil, like the land in Temanggung for making Srintil tobacco.
Tobacco grown in this area can be classified has such a world class quality tobacco. Tobacco from this area has been distributed to some countries around the world, such as Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
The city has around 28 tobacco-producing districts with average production of 11 tons per hectare. Per year, the tobacco commodity from Garut can reach 33,650 tons. The commodity is clearly achieved since Garut has 3,806 hectares of tobacco fields. The number is very far beyond its competitors, namely Sumedang with 2,510 hectares of tobacco fields.
There are some kind of tobacco produced in Garut, which comprised of local tobacco darwati, black tobacco, Na Oogst tobacco and Voor Oogst. For Voor Oogst and Na Oogst tobacco, Garut farmers usually begin to plant them at the end of the rainy season before the dry season (May-June).
Then, farmers harvest the Voor Oogst tobacco in the dry season and sell it in the form of slices. Meanwhile, Na Oogst tobacco will be used for cigars and temangan.
The most famous tobacco from Garut is mole tobacco; this type of tobacco actually comes from Sumedang. Mole tobacco is indeed the favorite of West Java because it is only can be found there.
This is because the manufacturing process is special. The process of West Java tobacco is done by chopping, not scraping. The chopping method itself is done like slicing using the tools to make the slices neat; this can help for speeding up the work process. After that, the results of chopping tobacco will be dried in rectangular bamboo matting. This matting is called Sasad.
Garut tobacco farmers think that growing tobacco is more profitable than growing other crops. This is because tobacco cultivation requires such a little expense for a large profit.
Hundreds of tobacco seeds can be obtained for less than Rp. 100.000 or about $7,04, and the tobacco is sold for Rp. 6.000 or about $0,42 per kilo (not chopped yet) to Rp. 80.000 or around $5,63 (super quality and already cut).
In conclusion, besides being known as dodol producer, Garut is also famous for its high tobacco production. The geographical factor supports the good quality tobacco from Garut.
In fact, Garut tobacco has penetrated the international market. For Smoking Room members, please stop by Garut to taste the molten tobacco (chopped tobacco).