Best-selling high-value crop varieties as well as new ones under field trial were showcased during the three-day golden anniversary celebration of Ramgo Seeds International. The event was held from January 25 to 27 in the company’s Research Farm in Brgy. Antipolo, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija.
And what are the bestsellers that Ramgo president Pamela Ong Chan is very upbeat about? She is very proud of the Heartland hybrid carrot that has a vigorous growth with uniform roots, dark orange skin with crisp and sweet taste. The roots weigh about 300 to 350 grams each, maturing as early as 85 days from seeding. It is also resistant to leaf blight.
Heartland can be a profitable crop to grow. Seeds worth P600 can yield as many as three tons of roots which can be worth a small fortune even at only P15 per kilo at farmgate.
According to Pam, they are number one as far as carrots are concerned. Ramgo has other carrot varieties, including Terracota, Improved Kuroda, New Kuroda and Firewedge.
Pam is also very upbeat about their Superex onion which is a yellow granex that produces big bulbs preferred by a well known food chain. It is used in making sandwiches, burgers, salads, onion rings and sauces. Fredelyn Vinoya, onion specialist, says that Superex is very high-yielding. When seedlings are transplanted, one pound of seeds can yield 400 bags of 30 kilos each. That’s 12 tons from just one pound of seeds.
A newly introduced onion variety is also exciting farmers themselves. We met at the anniversary celebration Marcos Manzano, 46, a big onion planter from Bayambang, Pangasinan. He is excited about the Red Dragon variety which he claims to be perfect in a number of ways. The plant is vigorous with thick leaves, which means high yield. The bulbs are bright red, compact and uniform. The variety is also claimed to be resistant to bulb rot, purple blotch, leaf miner, leaf twisting and “lis-lis”. And it has a long shelf life of eight months under cold storage.
In 2016, Manzano planted Red Dragon on 15 hectares and got 1,000 red bags of 25 kilos each per hectare. That means 25 tons. Total expenses per hectare is P250,000. That means a cost of P10 to produce one kilo. Manzano made a fortune because he was able to sell his harvest at P30-31 per kilo. Marcos was so happy with the result of his first planting so that this season, he planted Red Dragon on 50 hectares of mostly rented farms. He is scheduled to harvest his crop in late March or early April.
THE FIRST DAY – On the first day of the celebration no less than 500 farmers trooped to the anniversary celebration site. They came from as far north as Cagayan and all over Cetral Luzon. They were not disappointed because they saw beautifully growing vegetables and other high-value crops, including flowering ornamentals.
Superior varieties of salad veggies, ampalaya, cucumber, tomato, mung bean, sweet corn, waxy corn, kale, melons, sunflower and many more were grown in the ground as well as in containers.
Pam, who took over management of the company some 30 years ago, thanked the visitors for their continuing support to the company. She said that the company started very modestly. Her father, Ramon, was a one-man seed seller in the beginning. When she took over the management in 1986, there were only about five employees. She did not expect that the company would grow into what it is today, one of the big players in the seed business in the Philippines.