The Bunga Kantan Story  

The Torch Ginger Plant also know as Kantan.

Bunga Kantan buds.

Bunga Kantan or also known as Torch Ginger Flower is a simple flower that became an industry in my village. In the early days Pokok Kantan (Torch Ginger Plant) was simply planted around the house or at the backyard as the buds can be added to enhanced flavour when cooking "Laksa" or "Asam Pedas" a favourite Malaysian dish. But when a retired teacher that came back to the village had an idea to sell the buds commercially in a large volume to wet markets also know as the Pasar Borong in Kuala Lumpur and many other big Malaysian town, also even export some to Singapore and many restaurants here and there, the Bunga Kantan buds industry bloom like the flower itself into a household industry that makes many villagers clear up their land to solely plant the Torch Ginger. It was usually harvested once a week and it reallys really helps elevated the living standard in the village. It really was a profitable activities until flood came and halted the industry.

Bunga Kantan buds - a stage that can be harvested.

Now four months has passes by, the industry is being revive since the market for Bunga Kantan has never ceased and everywhere one can see kantan being re-planted. The demand is still high and each bud that formerly could be sold at about 13-18 cent a bud nowadays can be sold at a price higher since there is no surplus like before. Personally I think the industry will be back hustling as before in about a year since it took between 1-2 years that the plant mature to full capacity buds production.

The full bloom flower that when it's really dried and not malformed can produce up to 200 black seeds that be grown into new Torch Ginger plants.

Dried flower.

Kantan can be planted through the seeds but it can also be planted from an existing plant. Just cut off a part of rhizomes with a single stem plant and then plant it in an approximately 1 foot deep hole. Planting from rhizomes requires lot of watering and it took about 2-4 weeks to have new small plants growing from the same rhizomes. If using seeds, it would take longer at about 1-2 month until it can be transferred from the nursery and planted elsewhere.

1 comments: to “ The Bunga Kantan Story

  • Anonymous
    October 29, 2008 at 5:52 PM  

    Hello there, does the bunga kantan leaves have any medicinal properties? I was told by an old man that it was excellent for curing the cough some goats have. I tried his suggestion and it seems to work. Cheers!

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