If you are a fruit lover, you will surely want to plant, in your own farm or garden, these two exotic fruits we chanced upon lately in the orchard of Dr. Pablito P. Pamplona in Kabacan, North Cotabato. One is a durian with superior traits while the other is a pummelo, also with desirable characteristics. Both were introduced from Malaysia by Dr. Pamplona several years ago.
RAJAH KUNYIT DURIAN – If you are fond of eating durian, we are very sure you will really love eating the chrome-yellow ﬂesh of Rajah Kunyit. Its fruit is small, each usually weighing 1.5 kilos. The ﬂesh is chrome yellow, sweet, and with a mealy consistency. One person can ﬁnish a whole fruit in just one sitting.
Being small, the fruits are easier to sell in the market compared to the bigger varieties. A small fruit is usually more affordable than the big ones.
There is another desirable trait of Rajah Kunyit. According to Dr. Pamplona’s son Joseph, the tree is more resistant to common destructive durian diseases than the other varieties. These diseases include anthracnose, which affects the leaves and fruits, and phytophthora, a fungal disease that is very destructive.
MILO MAS PUMMELO – We are sure you will also love to plant an outstanding pummelo variety called Milo Mas. This has a roundish fruit which is a bit bigger than the popular Magallanes variety. The ﬂesh is white, sweet, and very juicy, according to Dr. Pamplona. It is very good for use in salads.
Unfortunately, according to Joseph Pamplona, they are not propagating Milo Mas because the farmers don’t want to plant it commercially. The farmers are sticking to the Magallanes variety because that’s the variety that they are sure the consumers will buy in the market.
Milo Mas is very proliﬁc, according to Dr. Pamplona. And one good thing about it is that when the fruits are still immature, the skin is covered with ﬁne hairs that insect pests from infesting the same.
Another desirable characteristic, according to Dr. Pamplona, is that it is not site-speciﬁc. This means that it will perform well in many places in the Philippines. He relates that the Magallanes variety has a narrow site-speciﬁcity, which means that it does not perform well in a number of places, including areas in Davao and Mindanao.
Not so with Milo Mas. That is why Dr. Pamplona believes that Milo Mas is a better variety for planters in Luzon. There you are. Why not try planting these exotic varieties in your own farm?
Text by Zac B. Sarian
This story appeared as “For Fruit Lovers” in Agriculture Monthly’s September 2014 issue.