BELLA F1: An Improved Suprema Type Pumpkin To Be Launched In Sept. 2017

Ric Reyes (right) and farmer Roderick Gray of Umingan, Pangasinan, show the fruits of Bella pumpkin.
BELLA is a new pumpkin hybrid that East-West Seed will launch in September 2017, it was learned from Ric Reyes, Global Product and Marketing Combination manager. He said that this is an improved Suprema-type pumpkin. Suprema is the first hybrid pumpkin developed by plant breeders of East-West Seed more than 30 years ago. The same is now grown not only in the Philippines but also in other countries like those in Latin America.

The new hybrid is particularly cited for its improved resistance to the very destructive Squash Leaf Curl Virus (SLCV). Its flat round fruits weigh 3 to 5 kilos with dark yellow-orange flesh.

One of the first farmers who pilot-tested Bella is Roderick Gray of Lauren, Umingan, Pangasinan. He reports that the new hybrid is very vigorous with wide leaves and longer vines.He also likes the uniform flat round shape, green, shiny skin and the thick and glutinous (maligat) flesh.He did not observe any incidence of the leaf curl virus.

From left: Farmer Roderick Gray, Marvin Ramento EWS field marketing supervisor; Bonifacio Sauli, EWS Philippines product manager; and Ric M. Reyes, Global Product and Marketing Combination Manager of East-West Seed.
The leaf curl virus is a very serious disease that is particularly prevalent during the May-June planting.Gray said that with the new hybrid, more farmers will plant squash in Umingan. The town, he said, is often called the “Kalabasa Capital of Pangasian.” About a hundred hectares are devoted to pumpkin production in the town. The harvests are sold in Central Luzon and the National Capital Region.

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