1.1 Malaysia such as F. auriculata that also bears

1.1       Background

One of the edible fig fruits species in Ficus genus is Ficus
carica or common fig
that had been commercialized and consume throughout the world for it fruits
that has unique taste besides it medicinal values. In the year 2016 alone,
around 308460 ha of area in the world is harvested with yield of 34055 hg/ha
that has world production of 1050459 tonnes which the top three major productions are from
Turkey, Egypt and Morocco
(FAO, 2017). Furthermore, the fruit also had their own name of sura in the holy Qur’an which is At-Tin meaning The Figs, the
ninety-fifth sura containing eight verses (Quran.com, 2016).

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            In Malaysia, entrepreneurs and
businessmen started to venture in the commercialization of fig’s plantation
industry. The emergence of company like Saf Fa Figs Garden that focus on these
fruit plantation as well as collaboration between research university and
private company like Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) with Fig Direct under
Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) memorandum agreement (Muhamad Nazmi, 2016, Mac 9)
will push the figs industries potential in Malaysia even further. This will
promote the involvement of science to improve the production quality of figs.

F.
carica has the origin
of West Asia and distributed all around Mediterranean region (Morton, 1987) which
has similar equator climate to Malaysia in some extent which is always in sunny
weather but different in the later wet heavy rain season. This is show
different in the humidity level where Malaysia is more humid than the origin
that may induce increase in the infection of diseases.

Moreover,
there also various native Ficus
species in Malaysia such as F. auriculata
that also bears edible fruits. The
commercialize F. carica and native F. auriculata has the potential to be
grafted together. Grafting is one of method to improve hardiness because the
source of rootstock is from native or hardy mother plant. Good graft compatibility
determines by many factors and one of them is good rootstock. Therefore, F. auriculata is as rootstock and F. carica is as scion.

Rootstock
quality is vital basic to grafting as similar important as good scion. The type
of medium and type of cutting that strongly suitable to produce clonal
rootstock are few of important factors to be considered.

 

1.2       Problem statement

As the commercialization
of figs in Malaysia will in mass, the production of F. carica will become more inefficient because of the problem in
sensitive roots which may affect the nutrient absorption that later obstructs
the overall growth. Thus, the grafting to native species may help overcome this
problem.

In
addition, the F. auriculata is
gynodioecy, the syconium can pollinate without pollinators and later the seeds
produced are not viable. It possible to produce seeds but Ficus genus has specific pollinator for each Ficus species. On the contrary, the pollinator is unavailable in
the sample environment made the viable seeds could not be produce. This lead to
the best available method to produce the best rootstock of F. auriculata is from stem cuttings.

Nonetheless,
the information of suitable medium type and suitable cutting type for native Ficus species as rootstock production is
lacking as reference. Thereby, the present study is an attempt to get basic
knowledge about the suitable medium type and cutting type to produce good
rootstock of F. auriculata as native Ficus species.

 

1.3       Objectives and hypothesis

The objective
of this research is to determine which type of soil media in relation with type
of stem cutting are the best to produce good rootstock from F. auriculata. Furthermore, the fastest
readily mature plant sample also can be determined for quick proceed as
rootstock into grafting that will shorten the time acquired. The information
about survival rate of cuttings also can be obtained from this study.

This
research is hypothesizing that hardwood cutting of peat moss medium has the
best result and the fastest time to achieve readily mature plant sample. In
facts, hardwood cutting has high carbohydrate storage and peat moss has the
most suitable moisture content as well as organic content.