Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Singapore Cash Crops FDC

Singapore FDC
Name: Cash Crops of Early Singapore
Date of Issue: 12 November 2008

When Sir Stamford Raffles established the first Botanic Gardens in 1822, located on the slopes of Government Hill (now known as Fort Canning Hill), its purpose then was for experimental cultivation of plants, such as nutmeg and clove, to evaluate their economic value and suitability as Cash Crops (crops that are grown for money) as well as other tropical plants.

1st Local:
Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Pepper (Piper nigrum) was grown in early Singapore. It is a perennial root climber and is usually grown on posts.

Black pepper is the whole dried fruit; white pepper is the fruit, which has been retted in water, and the mesocarp removed. Both are ground and used in powdered form; commercial ground pepper is often a blend and can be easily adulterated.

Pepper is widely used as a condiment, the flavour and pungency blending well with most savoury dishes.

65c: Tapioca (Manihot esculenta)
Tapioca (Manihot esculenta) is a shrubby plant native to South America, believed to have been cultivated since 800 B.C. The plant, with skinny sterns and palm-shaped leaves, can grow to about 3m. The huge storage roots are the main part that is eaten, but its leaves are also enjoyed as a vegetable dish.

Tapioca, not rice, was the daily staple food through the times of the Japanese Occupation. It was the easiest to grow, not much attention is needed on the plant and it can grow in poor soil and withstand drought, making it an important famine crop.

$1.10: Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis)
Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) originated from the Central and South America, where it has been collected for a long time. It was introduced into South East Asia from the Neotropics in 1876. H.N Ridley, Singapore's first Scientific Director of the Botanical Gardens (1888 – 1911) was such a passionate advocate of this cash crop that he would often stuff rubber seeds into pockets and beg villagers to plant them. He also perfected the tapping method that reduces damage done to rubber trees during harvest, thus prolonging the life spans and productivity.

$2: Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) cultivation in Singapore was unheard of until Sir Stamford Raffles introduced it in 1819. He brought in the first batch of nutmeg and clove trees six months after the establishment of Singapore as a trading post. Although nutmeg cultivation in Singapore proved to be unprofitable after 20 – 30 years, nutmeg cultivation was undeniably a part of Singapore's history. It is manifested through the roads named after the spice itself (Nutmeg Road) and nutmeg proprietors such as Dr Thomas Oxley (Oxley Rise), leaving traces of the heyday of nutmeg cultivation for future generations to uncover.

Comment: The coupons of this set are very gorgeous. These are additional remarks for this set. I remember that Singapore Post seldom uses these coupons. This is Israel Post's mark. lol

1 comment:

tantsbsac said...

The postmark on the top right corner of the cover, featuring trishaws, is a special one obtainable only at Killiney Road Post Office, located in the middle of the Orchard Road shopping belt of Singapore. If you are there and want this, you have to ask for it.

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