|JOSELITO JOSE and his honeydew melons.|
JOSELITO JOSE, 50, of Brgy. Faustino, Cauayan City in Isabela is a progressive diversified farmer who plants hybrid rice and high-value crops.
One high-value crop that he is harvesting at this time (May 6, 2012) is Ilocos Gold honeydew melon. This produces fruits that are about a kilo each. The rind is golden yellow while the flesh is sweet and fine-textured. He is selling the fruits at P60 per kilo at farmgate.
Unlike other growers who just let their honeydew vines crawl on the ground, he grows his melon on trellises. The fruits are cleaner and he can also grow more plants per hectare. On a hundred square meter, as many as 200 hills can be planted. If each hill produces three kilos, that’s P180 per hill, or a gross of P36,000 per 100 square meters. On a per hectare basis, that’s about P360,000. In this cropping season, Joselito planted just a thousand hills. That should yield a good income to pay for his inputs for his next cropping of Jollirice, his favorite hybrid rice from Bioseed.
Joselito has been doing his own experiment in growing hybrid rice. Unlike most hybrid rice planters, he planted his last crop by direct seeding instead of transplanting. He direct-seeded Jollirice on three hectares last season. He harvested an average of 167 cavans of 54 kg. per cavan per hectare. Not bad at all. It was a profitable crop considering the fact that he saved at least P4.500 for not having to pay for planters and those who pulled the seedlings from the seedbed.
He likes Jollirice because it is high-yielding and it has about the best eating quality among hybrid varieties. The rice is soft and aromatic. The direct-seeded Jollirice was profitable for Joselito. He spent only about P40,000 per hectare in the direct-seeded rice while the yield was worth about P121,000 per hectare.