Big money in Mestiza ampalaya
Anumber of farmers from Pampanga are reaping high yield and big profits from their crops of Mestiza ampalaya, a new hybrid released for commercial planting three years ago by East-West Seed.
Mestiza has now become a favorite of farmers for a number of good reasons. For one, it is high-yielding and the fruits are mostly Class A, thus commanding a high price in the market. The variety is also resistant to Namamarako, a serious disease that is said to be a cucurbit aphid-borne yellow virus. The fruits also have a good shelf life. The light green color is another characteristic favored by consumers. According to Ric Reyes of East-West, consumers perceive that light green ampalaya fruits are less bitter than the dark green varieties.
One fellow who made millions of pesos from his Mestiza crop planted on 7,000 square meters, is Oscar Manalansan, 59, of Brgy. Santiago, Lubao, Pampanga. In September 2016, he planted Mestiza on 7,000 square meters. About 43 days later, he started harvesting from his plants. According to him, he made a total of 16 harvests, each harvest averaging 2,500 kilos of mostly Class A fruits.
Because it was an off-season crop and the supply was limited, Manalansan enjoyed a high price of P80 per kilo. There were also times when the price reached P100 per kilo. Because of his big income, he was able to build a new house in Calangain, Lubao.
Rodolfo Manalansan, a brother of Oscar, also plants Mestiza ampalaya besides other varieties from East-West like D-Max tomato, Django finger pep-
BEAUTIFUL MESTIZA AMPALAYA FRUITS – Photo shows the fruits of Mestiza ampalaya which are 30 to 35 cm long and 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.