Jicama or yam with the Latin name Pachyrhizus erosus L. This is a legume originating from tropical America and has the potential to be developed as a food crop source of carbohydrates as well as vegetable protein. Yam fruit has a light brown skin and flesh which is milky white and grows well in the tropics. Bengkoang fruit plants can also grow in areas that are not swampy by propagating on the ground or creeping up the stake.
table of contents
The classification of yam according to Van Stenis is as follows:
Sub Division: Angiosperms
Family: Fabaceae (legumes)
Species: Pachyrhizus erosus L.
Types of Bengkuang
Bengkoang fruit included in the Fabaceae Family, Genus Pachyrhizus, Pachyrhizus Species . At least, the Pachyrhizus genus consists of five species, namely Pachyrhizus erorus (L.) Urban, P. Ahipa (wedd.) Parody, P. Ferrugineus (piper), P. tuberosus (lam.) Spreng, and P. Panamensis clausen . Varieties are widely cultivated in Indonesia is a type of yam elephant and yam Badoer . The difference in the two types of yam is at the time of harvest. The variety of yam can be harvested when the age of planting enters four to five months. Meanwhile, the type of yam has a longer harvest time. This species can only be harvested when the plant is seven to eleven months old.
Jicama grows well in hot areas in humid environments and full sun. This plant is usually propagated by seeds. Propagation by seed helps prevent tuberous roots from growing fungi. Yeast is growing optimally at pH 4.8-7.3. Yam seeds are planted 2.5 cm from the soil surface with a spacing of 15-30 cm. Germination occurs within 6-12 HST (days after planting).
- The stem
Yam fruit plant is an annual plant whose length can reach 4-5m. The stems grow spread and twisted, with fine hairs pointing down.
Yam fruit plants have pinnate compound leaves which give birth to leaves 3. The leaf stalks have a length ranging from 8.5-16 cm, where the leaves are rounded with broad eggs, with large pointed and toothed ends with hairs on both sides. Yam leaves are the biggest tip having a rhombus shape with a size of 7-21 × 6-20 cm.
These plant flowers tend to gather in bunches at the ends or in the armpits of the leaves. Generally have a length of up to 60 cm with brown hair. The lids are bell-shaped, brownish in color with a length of about 0.5 cm and dress up to 0.5 cm. The crown is bluish-purple and bare white. Sari stalks are flat, with the edges slightly curled while the pistil heads are ball-shaped, under the tips of the pistil stems, the pistils under the bearded pistil heads.
This plant has a fruit that is the root tuber (cormus) which is round or rounded like a top with a weight reaching 5kg. The tuber skin is quite thin, pale yellow and the inside is white with a fresh liquid rather sweet.
Bulbs or fruit contain sugar and starch as well as phosphorus and calcium. This tuber also has a cooling effect because it contains 86-90% water content. If you pay attention to the shape of the tubers, there are two kinds of flat round and long elliptical. Flat round tubers are better than elliptical tubers. The advantages of tubers that are flat round shape include: thin skin, easy to peel, white, watery, little fiber, easily broken and sweet taste. Medium elliptical tubers are thicker, hard to peel, slightly yellowish in color, low in water content, fibrous, difficult to break down and taste tasteless.
Nutrition of Bengkuang Fruit
Jicama or Pachyrhizus erosus L. is a type of leguminous plant whose fruit is rich in water content which is around 80-90% and nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamins C, B1, minerals Ca, P, K and inulin which is a fructant group with the nature of soluble food fiber. In addition to the content, there are also many other ingredients in tubers or yam fruit. The following is the content or composition of nutrients of yam fruit per 100 grams.
|Nutrition Substance per 100 g|
|Vitamin C (mg)||20|
|Vitamin B1 (mg)||0.04|
|Vitamin A (IU)||0.5|
|Source: Directorate of Health Department of Nutrition (1992)|
Benefits of Bengkuang Fruit for Health
Most people only know the benefits of yam as limited to cosmetic face or skin whitening. It is also not wrong because yam has a lot of water content that contains vitamins and contains antioxidants, so it is widely used by the cosmetics industry in the manufacture of whitening or facial smoothing creams. But apparently there are many other benefits of yam fruit for human body health, including:
- Good for bone health
The mineral content of calcium in yam is beneficial for healthy bones and teeth, prevents bone loss (osteoporosis) and flexes muscles. Yam fruit can also minimize bone loss during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and maintain body fluid balance. While the phosphorus content is useful for improving nerve and muscle function, and can overcome fatigue.
- Reducing blood cholesterol levels
The content of yam can reduce cholesterol in the blood. Water and fiber in yam can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition to fiber and high water content, the content of vitamin C in yam functioning as an antioxidant can also help in the process of reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Prevent cancer
The high antioxidant content in yam is very beneficial for the body. In yam contains antioxidants that can fight free radicals which can ultimately lead to the formation of cancer cells.
- Rich in vitamins
Besides oranges, it turns out yam is also rich in vitamin C. Although yam doesn’t have the sour taste like oranges, but the vitamin C content found in yam is high. The proof is in 100 grams of yam fruit there are 20 mg of vitamin C.
- Can facilitate digestion
One of the constituent elements of carbohydrates found in yam is very useful for health in the intestine which plays an important role in launching the digestive process. High water content in yam can also be useful to accelerate the digestion process in the body. Yam fruit is very suitable for consumption if you are experiencing indigestion.
How to Cultivate Organic Jicama
- Preparation of yam seeds
Preparation of yam seeds can be obtained in two ways, namely by selecting from existing plants. You do this by choosing healthy plants, then let the plants grow flowering to remove pods. While other plants are still pruned, because yam fruit plants whose flowers are not pruned cannot produce tubers.
Pods that grow after that are ready to be harvested as seeds. If the seeds are to be saved, it is better not to open the pods. Or keep it in a dry and tightly closed place, avoid from direct sunlight.
The second way is to select seeds from the crop. Choose some good quality bulbs, can be seen from the size and shape. Next save the bulbs in a humid place. Allow the shoots to grow in the bulb then choose the best shoot. Next plant yam, and let the flowers grow to produce pods. After that the pods can be harvested as seeds.
- Soil cultivation and planting
This tillage aims to make the soil loose and can maximize the growth of yam plants.
- First the land is plowed or plowed,
- Make beds so that the drainage of the soil goes well, that is, the width of the beds is 1 meter with a height of 20-25 cm, the length of the beds is adjusted to the contour of the land. Give a distance between the beds by 40-50 cm.
- Spread or mix manure with compost (basic fertilizer dosage of about 20 tons per hectare). Then stir until evenly distributed and make a planting hole by drilling it as deep as 5-7 cm. In one bed, make two rows of holes with a distance of about 25 cm in rows and a distance between rows of 30 cm.
- Add the seeds of yam in each batch as much as 1 seed then pile with soil.
- After that, water the plants sufficiently to maintain soil moisture. The need for yam seeds is around 25-30 kg per hectare.
- Before the seeds are planted better soak the seeds for 6-12 hours, then drain and leave for one day. After the prospective shoots are seen growing on yam beans. Only then can the seeds be planted.
- Care of yam cultivation
Keep in mind that watering should not be done half wet, this can make plants die and wither. When the plants are 2 weeks old, the stems generally grow and start spreading, that’s when weeding can be done depending on the conditions on the ground.
At the age of 3 weeks do additional fertilization with dry compost or chicken husk. One yam bed will need around 20 kg, or about 20 tons per hectare. Perform additional fertilizer by adjusting to the appearance of plants. If it appears to be malnourished, provide additional fertilizer in full. But if plants thrive, reduce fertilizer application to save expenses.
At the age of one month begin the process of cutting the leaf buds on all existing plants. The second cut is done when the yam plant is 2 months old. Cutting is done if at least 80% of the flowers have bloomed, because if it is done when the flowers have not bloomed, yam tubers will not be rounded in shape, but will look like carrots, which are small and elongated.
At the age of 3.5 months do a third cut. Cut all flowers and young leaves including flower under the armpits. After the third cut the tuber development usually occurs very quickly.
- Control of pests and diseases
Yam cultivation generally does not have many pests and diseases. But pest control must still be aware of the emergence of leaf spots, red leaf mites and beetles. To deal with pests and diseases, do crop rotation with other crops, or it can also be a perfect tillage, garden sanitation and good seed or seed selection.
- Harvesting yam cultivation
Yam trees can be harvested at the age of 4 months. Harvesting is done by pulling or digging. Good yam cultivation can produce 7-8 tons per hectare.