Agriculture - - Root Vegetable -

THE TOWN of Floridablanca in Pam­panga is of­ten re­ferred to as the am­palaya cap­i­tal of Cen­tral Lu­zon be­cause no less than 250 hectares are de­voted to this crop year­round. One of the big planters is 44-year-old barangay cap­tain Ronnie Ca­pu­long who is plant­ing the Mes­tiza hy­brid, a high-yield­ing va­ri­ety that is claimed to be re­sis­tant to the Na­ma­ma­rako dis­ease.

Fruits of Mes­tiza am­palaya are 30 to 35 cen­time­ters (cm) long with a di­am­e­ter of 5-6 cm. The va­ri­ety ma­tures in 42 to 45 days from plant­ing and can be pro­duc­tive for the next two months. Most of the fruits are first class and the color is light green, a char­ac­ter­is­tic that many con­sumers pre­fer be­cause they be­lieve that the light green fruits are less bit­ter than the dark green fruits. In photo, Ca­pu­long is flanked by Eric Ho­jilla and Ric Reyes of East-West Seed. In front of them is a big pile of Ronnie’s har­vest of Mes­tiza am­palaya. in the next plant­ing sea­son. He was also us­ing OP seeds and ob­served the ex­cel­lent har­vest of his fel­low farm­ers who were us­ing Radish Mt. Data.

Quinto, Arviso, and Felis­mino were all sat­is­fied with the suc­cess­ful re­sults of Radish Mt. Data. They all stated that they will be plant­ing Mt. Data in the next plant­ing sea­son. (BY ARIELINA P. AREVALO)

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