|By goGreen | June 5, 2012|
MANILA, Philippines — There’s a new hybrid papaya that promises to be a good money-maker for farmers. It is called Red Royale and it is dwarf and very fruitful. It was developed by plant breeders of East-West Seed Company who had worked on it for the past several years.
After observing trial plantings in farmers’ fields in different parts of the country, the plant breeders of the company are convinced that it is now time to release for commercial planting by the farming public.
Procopio “Carpo” Marges of Brgy. Medina, Magallanes, Cavite is one of the farmers who were chosen to plant the new variety on a semi-commercial basis. On December 9, 2010, he planted 215 seedlings in his farm. By June 2, he was already able to harvest the first ripe fruits.
That means the first ripe fruits were harvested in just about seven months from planting. That means it is earlier by one month than the other hybrid papayas available in the market. Usually, the first fruits of the other hybrids start to ripen eight months after planting.
Red Royale is really dwarf. Some of the fruits are less than a foot above the ground. And the fruits are closely bunched. There is practically no gap between the fruits. Easily, one tree is laden with 20 or more fruits.
Usually, the fruits weigh 2 to 2.5 kilos each but there are those that weigh three kilos. The red flesh is thick, sweet and firm.
Marges who has been planting hybrid papayas in the last three years said that Red Royale does not require any special treatment. He has been growing it just like the earlier varieties such as Sinta and Red Lady. He did not fertilize his plants with chemical fertilizers. All he did after the plants were established was to put guano and old chicken manure around the base of each tree.
Being dwarf is a big advantage. Red Royale is less susceptible to damage by strong typhoons.
As per the experience of Marges, papaya is a profitable crop to grow for as long as the variety is not susceptible to diseases, particularly the papaya ring spot virus. The plantation should also be well drained.
Marges estimates that within one year from planting, he could harvest at least 20 marketable fruits from one tree. That would mean 40 to 50 kilos per tree. At P15 per kilo, that would mean a gross income of P600 to P750 per tree.
Usually, most of the trees will remain productive up to the 18th month from planting, according to Marges. At least 10 more marketable fruits could be harvested from each tree. Of course, under ideal conditions, the trees could even remain productive up to two years or longer.
Marges does not only make money from the fruits of his papayas. In between the dwarf trees he has planted Django pepper of the “pangsigang” variety. This is also a very productive hybrid from East-West Seed. The fruits normally fetch P50 per kilo. However, during off-season the price could reach more than P100 per kilo.
One very successful planter of Django is Benito Magaling of Lipa City. Three years ago, he planted two hectares of rented land to this pepper. From September to January the following year, he was harvesting two tons of fruits every day from the two hectares.
He divided the two hectares into seven lots so that each lot was harvested each day successively. Each day, he harvested two tons which his big buyers bought at P50 per kilo. That means P100,000 gross each day.
How did he harvest the two tons each day? He hired 20 women pickers who harvested just 100 kilos each. In half a day, each would be able to harvest her quota and paid P170 for the service.
Back to Red Royale. Dr. Balatero confided that it took them several years to develop the new hybrid. It started with the collection of various papaya strains with desirable characteristics such as resistance to diseases, fruitful with good eating quality and more. These were crossbred followed by meticulous selection and observation, trial plantings and taste-testing.
SOURCE: Manila Bulletin