East-West Seed has developed two outstanding ampalaya varieties which have become favorites in Pakistan. One is called Prachi which is favored by farmers in northern Pakistan while the othe other is Palee, a favorite in the southern Karachi Sindh province.
Both varieties have superior traits in terms of yield, disease resistance and fruit quality which are appreciated by both farmers and consumers.
Prachi is a high-yielding early-mauring hybrid. The fruit is short, smooth green, spindle-shaped, uniform in size and with excellent shelf life. It has a strong plant vigor and very good branching. The first fruits are harvested in 35 to 45 days from planting.
Palee, on the other hand, is a warty type that has longer fruits than Prachi. It is the market leader in southern Pakistan. It has a strong plant vigor combined with earliness. The fruit color is attractive dark green 20 to 25 cm long, diameter of 5-6 cm and weighs 200 to 250 grams. Maturity is 48 to 53 days after planting.
Farmer Rashid Hussain of Karachi is a Palee grower on 6 acres or about 2.5 hectares. He said he harvests about 7 tons per acre or 17 tons per hectare. He grosses about 861,000 rupees per hectare with cost of production at 492,000 rupees.
East-West Seeds are distributed in Pakistan by Haji & Sons, one of the biggest seed and agricultural inputs distributors based in Lahore. It is headed by Tahir Saleemi who is currently vice president of Asia Pacific Seed Association (APSA).