A 59-year-old farmer from Brgy. Santiago, Lubao, Pampanga, made millions from an off-season crop of Mestiza ampalaya he planted on 7,000 sqm in September 2016. Oscar Manalansan really got a bumper crop. From that crop, he harvested 16 times, each harvest averaging 2,500 kilos. Because it was off-season, he got a very good price of P80 per kilo.
Mestiza, a hybrid bitter gourd released by East-West Seed about two years ago, is really high-yielding. It is resistant to Namamarako, a cucurbit aphid-borne yellow virus. The fruits are big and uniform, most of them first class. The fruit, 30 to 35 cm long, is light green, a color that many consumers love because they think it is less bitter than the dark green varieties.
The first fruits are harvested in 42-45 days from planting. Harvesting is done twice a week. By the way, a brother,Rodolfo Manalansan, is also a planter of Mestiza ampalaya and other varieties from East-West Seed.
Rodolfo (brother of Oscar Manalansan) is also a grower of Mestiza ampalaya. He is shown here with his wife Arlene.