By Zac B. Sarian

Two new habanero chilli varieties developed by East-West Seed are said to perform well under Philippine conditions in both the wet and dry seasons. This was learned from Ramil Panergayo, the company’s product and market combination manager.

Ramil Panergayo.

These are the Piquante Red and the Piquante Yellow, which are claimed to be three times hotter than the company’s current bestseller, Red Hot. These Habanero varieties produce bigger fruits than Red Hot. It takes only 100 to 120 fruits of the Habanero types to make a kilo, whereas it takes more than 600 fruits of Red Hot to make a kilo.

The Piquante Red has strong plant vigor and is considered early maturing at 75 to 85 days after transplanting. The fruits, which are 4.5 x 3 centimeters (cm), are light green when immature but bright red when ripe. Aside from its pungency, it is also prized for its very high aroma, which connoisseurs usually look for.

Piquante Yellow also has strong plant vigor and good foliage cover that protects the fruits from sun scalding. Fruits are bright yellow when mature with high pungency and aroma. The fruit is 4.3 cm long and 3.3 cm wide. Aside from being consumed fresh, the two varieties are good candidates for making hot sauces, powder, and flakes.

The two varieties will be launched for commercial planting in East and West Africa this year (2018), according to Panergayo. It is not yet known when they will be released for commercial planting in the Philippines.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s January 2018 issue.