East-West Seed’s Cariñosa Papaya Is A Big-Time Money-Maker For Vietnam Farmers

A very beautiful Cariñosa papaya plantation in Vietnam.
The attractive yellow color and sweet fruits of Cariñosa.

A Philippine-bred papaya, Cariñosa, a hybrid developed by East-West Seed’s plant breeders is now an all-time favorite of Vietnamese farmers because they are making big income from the papaya trees.

Ric Reyes, an executive of East-West Seed who recently visited the papaya farmers in different parts of Vietnam, reports that one farmer, Farmer Phong of Culao Dong District in Soc Trang province, is now harvesting as many as 300 kilos of marketable fruits from each tree which sells at 7000 Vietnamese dong per kilo (P15 in Philippine money).

Ric Reyes smiles as he poses with fruitful Cariñosa.
The East-West management team on a visit to cariñosa plantations in Vin Puch province.

Farmer Phong has 800 1.5-year-old Cariñosa trees that are still productive. He does not have any problem in selling his harvests because he was able to make a contract with the West Fruit Processing Company based in Cantho City which makes papaya juice and fruit cocktail. He said he sells about 500 tons of papaya per year to the processing company but sometimes, he could not supply all their requirements. Of course he has plantings of younger Cariñosa to make sure he has year-round harvest to sell.

Farmer Phong and his 1.5-year-old papaya trees that are still productive.
Farmer Phong and Ric Reyes posing with young Cariñosa papaya.

The local authority in Vietnam encouraged him to train more farmers on papaya growing and he is now a partner of East-West Seed in technology transfer activities. A farmers’ association with 30 members was recently formed in his village where he was voted to be their leader.

Farmers in other places in Vietnam are benefiting from the high yield of Cariñosa. Planters can also be found in Vin Puch province and other places such as the Mekong Delta.

Farmer Be of Tiengiang province plants papayas in between fruit trees like guava, jakfruit, pomelo and lemon. He is shown at center with Ric Reyes and Katchie Panergayo of East-West Seed.

Some farmers don’t plant papaya as a mono crop. Mr. Be who has been planting Cariñosa in Caibe, Tienglang province, plants Cariñosa in between fruit trees like guava, jackfruit, pummelo and lemon. His trees are well nourished. He applies 30 kilos of cow manure per papaya tree each year.

Reyes said that what the farmers are getting from their hybrid papaya is a far cry from the income they used to make when they were planting the old open-pollinated variety that gave them only about 30-50 kilos per tree. Besides being low-yielding, the fruits of the old varieties are inferior in eating quality because they are infected by disease like anthracnose and ringspot virus.

At left is Nien Dang Van, East-West’s sales and marketing manager in Vietnam, together with Mr. Trung, a papaya trader, and Farmer Trinh, papaya farmer im Camtam, Khan Plan.
A very beautiful Cariñosa papaya plantation in Vietnam.

Consumers, according to Reyes, love the yellow flesh and sweet taste of Cariñosa. On the other hand, the farmers and traders love the hybrid because the fruits have long shelf life and good shipping quality. The hybrid papaya also has a long productive life. Farmer Phong of Culau Dong district in Soc Trang province, for instance, continues to harvest high yield from his trees that are already 1.5 years old.

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