The late Dr. Benito S. Vergara, national scientist, had observed that farmers in Thailand love to experiment and make selections for better varieties, hence the constant appearance of new or improved varieties in the market.
Variability also occurs in the Philippines but farmers are not taught or encouraged to select and propagate outstanding plants in their farms, he observed.
Thai farmers take pride in being able to say “this is my selection”. As a result, many plant growers in Thailand have earned large income from their selections and breeding work. They sell their propagations at a high price.
One notable variety that is the result of close observation, selection and propagation by the grower is the Duyaya durian. This is a selection with large creamy pulp by our friend, the late Severino Belviz of Davao City.
We are also closely observing variants in our own fruit trees. One that we are truly proud of is the RedOrange jackfruit that produces deep orange arils that are plump, sweet and juicy.
By the way, Seedling No.2 of the five original seedlings from our red jackfruit from Thailand is now with seven fruits that are about one month old. We notice that the fruits are oblong so we are eagerly anticipating their ripening so we can find out how the quality of their fruits will come out. Abangan!