• Two new pineapple varieties for Bicol

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    After more than two years of field trials, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) research station in Bicol region has officially introduced two new pineapple varieties, which were deemed adaptable to the region’s weather conditions and has higher yield than traditional varieties.

    According to the DA-operated Cama-rines Norte Lowland Rainfed Research Station (CNLRRS), the pineapple varieties called “Ulam” and MD-2 hybrid pineapple from Davao and Bukidnon showed promi-sing results when tested under the soils and climatic conditions of Camarines Norte.

    Using different production methods, the CNLRRS said they were able to come up with the “best alternative” for the Queen Pineapple, which is known for its very sweet fruit and sturdy leaves that are made into piña cloth.

    The field trails includes medium density, low fertilizer planting techniques of farmers; the high density, medium fertilizer best practices for Queen pineapple; and the high density, high fertilizer rate of Mindanao growers.

    Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala wants to introduce these new varieties of pineapple from Mindanao in response to the claims the yield of the Camarines Norte’s Queen pineapple, commonly known as “Formosa,” is getting smaller as the farmers are planting only one variety.

    The “Ulam” variety has spiny leaves similar to Queen pineapple and is claimed to produce very sweet fruit with edible core. Meanwhile, the MD-2 hybrid variety has a similar plant stand with the spineless smooth cayenne or Hawaiian variety, but is said to produce sweeter fruit with no aftertaste when eaten.

    This variety is now being planted in Honduras and Mexico.

    At present, both “Ulam” and MD-2 variety can be grown under the soil and climatic condition of Camarines Norte using the local farmers practices or the best agricultural practices for the Queen pineapple.

    But only the MD-2 variety is ready for commercialization and distribution to far-mers, as the intellectual property rights of the “Ulam” variety is still under negotiations.

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