NEW EAST-WEST PUMPKIN: Now A Favorite In Sri Lanka

A new hybrid pumpkin developed by East-West Seed is becoming a favorite of Sri Lankan farmers, it was reported by Ric Reyes who has been visiting farmers in different countries growing E-W hybrids. Reyes is the Global Product and Market Combination manager of the company.

Rajah F1 has green blotched skin when not fully mature. It has yellow-orange flesh.
Lady farmer Nadika of Tellula, Uva Province in Sri Lanka, and Ric Reyes holding fruits of Rajah F1.

The new hybrid is Rajah F1 which produces fruits with blotched dark green skin when not fully mature but which turn brown when fully mature. Average size is 3 to 5 kilos per fruit. Farmers claim that the new hybrid is high-yielding and with excellent eating quality. They have also observed it to be resistant to squash leaf curl virus, zucchini yellow mosaic virus and papaya ring spot virus.

Farmer RHM Banda is a pioneer planter of Rajah F1. He is from Nawagathegama, Sri Lanka.
Harvesting of Rajah F1. The fruits turn brown when fully mature.

Rajah is a welcome replacement of Suprema, the first pumpkin hybrid produced by East-West which was renamed Arjuna in Sri Lanka. For more than 30 years, Suprema was the No. 1 choice of farmers in the Philippines and other countries. After all those long years, however, Arjuna (Suprema) has become susceptible to virus diseases.

In a taste test in Sri Lanka, Rajah emerged No.1, according to Ric. It is a favorite in cooking pumpkin curry. Because of its excellent eating quality, fruits command 15 rupees higher per kilo than the other varieties.

A simple pumpkin curry dish, a favorite in Sri Lanka.
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