By Zac B. Sarian

The warty pumpkins which are favorites in Thailand might as well be introduced in the Philippines for whatever they are worth. They are reported to be high-yielding, resistant to diseases, and to have good eating quality.

Warty pumpkins at the huge Talad Thai market.

Two warty varieties developed by East-West Seed are called Prakaingern and Prakaithong. One of the satisfied farmers who planted Prakaingern is Pongsak Chuysong, who got three tons from 1,600 square meters or one rai. He sold his harvest at 10 baht per kilo so he grossed 30,000 baht from that small area.

Actually, he planted the same variety in 13 rai, which is equivalent to 2.8 hectares.

From that space, he grossed 390,000 baht. That is equivalent to P624,000. He estimated his production cost at 65,000 baht or P104,000. So he got a net income of P520,000.

Prakaithong is a prolific hybrid that produces highly uniform large flat round warty fruits that weigh 6 to 8 kilos each. The fruit flesh is dark yellow with excellent quality. This hybrid has intermediate resistance to leaf curl virus, papaya ring spot virus (PRSV) and another virus called zucchini yellow mosaic virus or ZYMV for short.

Ric Reyes, East-West’s Global Product and Market Combination manager, says that the warty pumpkins are very delicious. Their eating quality is better than that of many traditional varieties in the market. He really believes that the warty varieties are worth introducing to the Philippines.

Growing pumpkins has a number of advantages. For one, it is not as expensive to grow compared to other high-value crops. The seeds for planting are not as expensive as those of other vegetable hybrids. The crop can be grown in the open field and can just be allowed to crawl on the ground.

Prakaithong fruits are highly uniform flat pumpkins.

Pumpkin is one of the favorite vegetables of people throughout the country. It is affordable to many and also highly nutritious. Aside from being used in traditional dishes, some enterprising homemakers also make fritters out of squash. Others prepare squash tempura. We also remember a processor who made squash powder that was intended for making pumpkin soup. The powder was also intended for making juice drinks for school children in Africa.

This appeared as “Let Us Try the Warty Pumpkins From Thailand” in Agriculture Monthly’s March 2018.