India is a fast-growing market for East-West Seed, so much so that Ric Reyes is predicting that within a short time sales of East-West hybrid seeds in India will overtake revenues from older markets like the Philippines and Thailand. Ric is the Global Product and Market Combination manager of the company who often travels to such places as India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand and elsewhere to monitor developments in the international markets.
He revealed that India is a big market for three major products like ampalaya or bitter gourd, papaya and onion. In a few months, he said that East-West will launch three new hybrid ampalaya, one with short fruits, another with medium long, and the third with long fruits. These new hybrids have exhibited higher yields than the varieties that are currently producing high yields. He observes that in India, ampalaya is a favorite vegetable but different localities have their size- preferences. So he is taking note of those things.
Onion is also a big item in India, according to Ric, and a new onion variety bred by an Indian plant breeder of East-West is being field tested in the Philippines and elsewhere. He is excited about the new onion variety tentatively called Prema because it is said to be suitable for planting during the wet and dry seasons. It is tolerant to purple blotch disease. It also has a good shelf life.
New varieties of papaya are also being introduced. For green papaya production, a variety from Thailand suitable for making atsara or pickles is being test-marketed in the Philippines and and India.