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Grow pummelo and jackfruit in your farm

  • PUMMELO HAS ITS ADVANTAGES – Growing pummelo in commercial scale has its advantages over other fruit crops like mango. For one, pummelo commands a high price if it is the good kind. It has a long shelf life and more trees can be planted in one hectare compared to mango. The trees don’t have to be sprayed with flower inducer to produce fruits. Also, two harvests can be made from pummelo in one year compared to only one in mango. Photo shows the fruits of Cles Rambaud’s three-year-old Vietnam pummelo planted in a concrete planter in his home in a Caloocan subdivision. Rambaud is the editor of Bannawag, the Ilocano magazine published by Manila Bulletin.

    PUMMELO HAS ITS ADVANTAGES – Growing pummelo in commercial scale has its advantages over other fruit crops like mango. For one, pummelo commands a high price if it is the good kind. It has a long shelf life and more trees can be planted in one hectare compared to mango. The trees don’t have to be sprayed with flower inducer to produce fruits. Also, two harvests can be made from pummelo in one year compared to only one in mango. Photo shows the fruits of Cles Rambaud’s three-year-old Vietnam pummelo planted in a concrete planter in his home in a Caloocan subdivision. Rambaud is the editor of Bannawag, the Ilocano magazine published by Manila Bulletin.

  • JACKFRUIT IN DEMAND – Big quantities of jackfruit are needed by fruit processors in the Philippines but there is no grower who can supply the big demand on a sustained basis. That is the reason why local fruit processors are depending on imports from countries like Vietnam. Only very recently, an importer from Cebu had ordered 20 tons of frozen jackfruit pulp from MIT International, the biggest processor of jackfruit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

    JACKFRUIT IN DEMAND – Big quantities of jackfruit are needed by fruit processors in the Philippines but there is no grower who can supply the big demand on a sustained basis. That is the reason why local fruit processors are depending on imports from countries like Vietnam. Only very recently, an importer from Cebu had ordered 20 tons of frozen jackfruit pulp from MIT International, the biggest processor of jackfruit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

  • MARCOTTED VIETNAM PUMMELO – Pummelo planting materials can be either grafted or marcotted. The marcotted planting materials will usually bear fruit in two years from field planting. One of the recommended varieties is the white Vietnam pummelo called Nam Roi. It produces sweet and juicy fruits. It is one of the standard fruits served during breakfast in upscale hotels in Vietnam. Photo shows marcotted Nam Roi pummelo in a nursery in Teresa, Rizal.

    MARCOTTED VIETNAM PUMMELO – Pummelo planting materials can be either grafted or marcotted. The marcotted planting materials will usually bear fruit in two years from field planting. One of the recommended varieties is the white Vietnam pummelo called Nam Roi. It produces sweet and juicy fruits. It is one of the standard fruits served during breakfast in upscale hotels in Vietnam. Photo shows marcotted Nam Roi pummelo in a nursery in Teresa, Rizal.

  • BAGGING PROTECTS PUMMELOS FROM FRUITFLY – One problem in growing pummelo is fruitfly which infests fruits on the tree. To protect the fruits from the insect pest, one effective way is to bag the fruits with cloth bag. Photo shows a tree with bagged fruits. The fruitfly deposits its egg in the developing fruit and when the egg hatches, the larva causes the damage that results in eventual fruit fall.

    BAGGING PROTECTS PUMMELOS FROM FRUITFLY – One problem in growing pummelo is fruitfly which infests fruits on the tree. To protect the fruits from the insect pest, one effective way is to bag the fruits with cloth bag. Photo shows a tree with bagged fruits. The fruitfly deposits its egg in the developing fruit and when the egg hatches, the larva causes the damage that results in eventual fruit fall.

  • VIETNAM PUMMELO FRUITS – Photo shows mature fruits of the Vietnam Red pummelo. The trick is to harvest fully mature fruits and then keep them in a cool dry place for at least one week after harvest. This will make the fruits sweeter and juicier. The Vietnam Red pummelo is one of the recommended varieties to grow because of its superior eating quality. Some fruits weigh more than two kilos.

    VIETNAM PUMMELO FRUITS – Photo shows mature fruits of the Vietnam Red pummelo. The trick is to harvest fully mature fruits and then keep them in a cool dry place for at least one week after harvest. This will make the fruits sweeter and juicier. The Vietnam Red pummelo is one of the recommended varieties to grow because of its superior eating quality. Some fruits weigh more than two kilos.

A lady lawyer who is developing a farm in northern Luzon consulted us on what’s new in fruit trees. She said she has bought practically every variety from our nursery in Teresa, Rizal.

We learned that she is developing about eight hectares and has already planted a few of each kind from our collection. Well, we asked her about her purpose in developing her farm. Is it just a hobby farm or is she interested in producing commercially for profit.?

Of course, she said, she wants the farm to be profitable. To which we recommended that she better select one or two crops that she can grow in really big volume. We told her that if she just grows only a few of each kind, she will not make any profit. No big buyer will go to her to buy her harvest. Whatever little harvest that she will make will not be worthwhile bringing to the market because the cost of transporting will probably be more than the value of her harvest.

We discouraged her to plant mango because there are so many problems in growing mangoes. Mango requires a lot of pesticides and the shelf life of the fruit is very short. Besides, if the harvest coincides with the peak season, the fruits will command a very low price. The buyers will take advantage by offering a price below production cost.

Instead, we recommended two fruit crops that offer a number of advantages. One of them is pummelo, the right variety of pummelo. We told her that there a lot of pummelo strains grown in the Philippines. Many of them are inferior such as those with sour fruits. But there are superior ones like the Magallanes variety from Davao, the imported varieties from Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The beauty about pummelo, we told her, is that if you grow the right kind, you will get a high price. In supermarkets in Manila, it is not unusual to see fruits priced at R140 a kilo. Of course, it could be cheaper in the provinces but if you really have a superior variety, you can dictate the price.

Pummelo has a long shelf life so that it can be stored longer without worrying about spoilage. More trees can be planted in one hectare compared to mango. Also, you don’t have to spray the pummelo tree with a flower inducer to make it bear fruit. The flowers are not damaged by rain or shower. And it is possible to produce two harvests in one year.

Pummelo has also a shorter gestation period compared to mango. Grafted mango trees will usually take six to seven years to produce a commercial crop. On the other hand, grafted pummelo will produce a commercial crop in four years. If you plant the marcot that is already  big, fruiting can be expected in two or three years.

JACKFRUIT – This is one fruit that should be produced in really big volume because processors are in need of big volume on a year-round basis. As of now, local processors are depending on imports from countries like Vietnam.

The truth is that only the other week, an importer from Cebu had bought 20 tons of frozen jackfruit pulp from MIT International, the biggest jackfruit processor in Ho Chi Minh City that we visited earlier this year.

Some of the imported pulp will be made into dried jackfruit by a big processing plant in Cebu. Smaller portions of the imported pulp will be used in making sweet preserves while some will be used in making halo-halo and “turon.”

Jackfruit is less problematic to grow than mango. And there are varieties that produce superior pulp like the so-called latexless varieties from Malaysia and Thailand.

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