Three-year-old BR 25 cacao with lots of fruits at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal.
Lawyer Rhaegee Tamaña posing with BR 25 cacao at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal.

As far as agri people are concerned, all roads lead to the World Trade Center in Pasay City starting Thursday, October 5, 2017. The reason? It is the opening day of Agrilink 2017, the country’s premier agricultural trade show. The event will run for three days, up to October 7.

Those who are interested in high-value crops that include exotic fruit trees and hybrid vegetables will be able to see the top varieties and they will also meet the experts, the hands-on growers, and technicians of the seed companies. They can also attend the many seminars, workshops and demonstrations on various topics.

BR 25 cacao seedlings ready for field planting.

SUPERIOR CACAO – Seedlings of BR 25 cacao will be available in big numbers at the Sarian Farm boot in the outdoor exhibit area. This is an outstanding variety that was introduced several years back from Sabah. A British cacao grower gave four varieties to a Davao gentleman and of the four varieties, BR 25 emerged as the best among them.

In Teresa, Rizal, BR 25 has been observed to be ever-bearing. Seedlings start bearing fruit 18 months from planting in the ground. It is practically free of any serious disease or pest in Teresa.

Sweet Kamias, very good for making salad together with leafy greens, cucumber and tomato.
Young fruits of Sweet Kamias.

SWEET KAMIAS – This is another interesting variety that is not suitable for “sinigang” but it is superb for using it in salads. The fruits are not sour and are perfect for combining with green salads. Seedlings that will bear fruit in two or three years will be available at the outdoor stalls.

The white-fleshed Nam Roi Vietnam pummelo is sweet and juicy.
The red-fleshed Vietnam pummelo is also sweet and juicy. Flesh detaches readily from rind.
Three kilos Vietnam Red pummelo.

VIETNAM PUMMELOS – Among the recommended varieties for commercial planting are the Vietnam pummelos – one white-fleshed and the other with red flesh. The fruits are bigger than the Magallanes, they are juicy and sweet, and the flesh is detached from the rind.

Compared to mango, planting pummelo has a number of advantages. In pummelo, more trees can be planted in one hectare at eight meters apart. Pummelo fruits have a long shelf life and they command a high price in the market.
Pummelo trees don’t have to be sprayed with flower inducer to induce the tree to bear fruit. Also, two harvests can be had in pummelo in one year, compared to only one in mango.

RAMGO INTERNATIONAL – This company which is observing its 50th anniversary boasts of a number of best-selling vegetable varieties. Pamela Ong Chan, Ramgo president, is very proud of the company’s Heartland carrot which is claimed to have captured the biggest share in the market. It has uniform and vigorous plant growth. The roots which are deep orange, crispy, and sweet, have uniform sizes and shapes.

No.1 Carrot in the Philippines today, Heartland F1 from Ramgo.
Everest hybrid radish with very uniform roots. It is high-yielding and early-maturing. It can be harvested in 40-45 days from seeding.

Pamela is also proud that Ramgo introduced the first hybrid radish in 1998 which revolutionized radish production in the Philippines. Up to that time, only low-yielding OPVs were grown in the country. Everest, one of the varieties introduced by Ramgo produces uniform roots and is early maturing. It can be harvested in 40-45 days from sowing.
Other superior Ramgo varieties are Red Dragon onion and Superex, a yellow granex type. And then there is the new Maserati shallot that can be grown from seeds instead of the usual bulblets.

OTHER SEED COMPANIES – Also showcasing their best varieties are the East-West Seed, Allied Botanical Corporation, Harbest Agribusiness Corporation and Known-You Philippines.

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