By Zac B. Sarian

Cherimoya, a native fruit of Central and South America, is one of the most delicious fruits. The fruit is much bigger than the native atis and is as delicious in its own right.

In Taiwan, beautiful fruits of Cherimoya were exhibited at the agricultural show in Kaohsiung on November 21 to 23, 2018. The fruits came from Taitung county which produces the biggest volume in that island country, according to Claire Chung, who manned the stall at the trade show.

The fruits displayed at the show weighed about 300 grams each and sold for the equivalent of P223 in Philippine money. The bigger fruits, according to Chung, sell for a much higher price. For instance, a box of 6 kilos consisting of 9 pieces sells for NT$1,800 equivalent to P3,096. That’s about P344 apiece.

While there are no big Cherimoya plantings in the Philippines, Ed Cañuto of Badiangan, Iloilo, reports that his family has enjoying good harvest from their five Cherimoya trees that are now five years old. He obtained the seeds from California that he planted in their farm, now a tourist destination.

A four-year-old Cherimoya at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal, on the other hand, started to bear fruit in 2018. The fruit which has prominent protrusions weighed about 330 grams. There are, however, varieties that don’t have protrusions in their skin.

Probably, most people would like to grow just a few trees that will give them fruits to enjoy. A big plantation can be problematic when the trees start bearing a lot of fruits. The fruits when ripe are quite delicate to handle. They have a very short shelf life. The skin of the ripe fruits is easily damaged.

At any rate, having your own Cherimoya tree can be enjoyable because you have a fruit that not everybody in the country has. It is something novel that you can really be proud of.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s January 2019 issue.