Ba Kelalan

When Was Apples Planted?

Approximately 20 apple seedlings were brought back from Batu Malang, Indonesia by Andrew Balang Paran, 71, in 1974 after watching the Batu Malang residents’ effortless planting of apple trees around their houses which grew well. It crossed his mind to bring back the seedlings and plant them in his village, Buduk Nur, Ba’ Kelalan. Through his friends there, he got 20 Mana Lagi apple seedlings for free. However, in order to bring them back to Malaysia, few international conditions applied in the exporting of plants abroad needed clearance from the authority there. Thus, he had to get export permission from Indonesian Agriculture Department. After gaining the permission, Andrew flew them back through Singapore before arriving in Kuching and finally reaching Kampung Buduk Nur, Ba’ Kelalan.

Back in his village, Andrew didn’t waste much time and planted the apple seedlings. It soon grew well but after a year, he was a bit disappointed since the trees still did not bear fruits. He even gave up but quickly seeks advice and help from Lawas Agriculture Office. Through their help, various efforts were carried out such as providing suitable fertilisers and also tried to mix the various apple species. After three years after being planted, they remained fruitless. In their effort, Andrew and his nephew, the late Datuk Dr Judson Sakai Tagal visited Australia and Indonesia several times to buy all kinds of apple seedlings to be best planted in Ba’ Kelalan.

After all his efforts were fruitless, Andrew finally gave up for good and handed it over to his elder brother, Tagal Paran in 1977. He told his brother that if he succeeds, that will be God’s gift to him. In the hands of Tagal Paran, the original 20 trees were added and cared for tirelessly, and he had the help and advice from the Agriculture Office.

Surprisingly, after a year it changed hands, the apples started to bear fruits in 1978 and it definitely made Andrew happy. Although it was no longer his, he was still proud to know that his effort was not wasted, as the bemused statements thrown by many at that time. For Andrew, he wanted to prove to Malaysia, that it can be an apple producing nation provided with great effort, patient, knowledge and technology.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 March 2010 03:49
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