The demand for healthier food options is on the rise, driven by an increasing number of health-conscious consumers. According to a survey by Food Industry Asia, eight out of ten Filipino consumers are becoming more health conscious and would prefer healthier food choices as long as they are tasty.
This growing awareness of the importance of a healthy diet presents a substantial market opportunity for unique, tasty, and nutritious crops like East-West Seed’s hybrid Morado F1 purple sweet waxy corn.
With its vibrant color, anthocyanin content, sweetness, and potential to increase income, Morado presents an enticing opportunity for Filipino farmers.
Morado can provide farmers with a consistent income opportunity throughout the year as it is suitable to be planted all year round. It is also an early-maturing corn variety – farmers can harvest within 60 to 62 days after planting, enabling them to sell their produce to the market sooner.
Morado stands out not only for its vibrant purple hue but also for its ear quality. The kernels are soft, tender, and stay sweet even two days after harvest.
Another remarkable attribute of Morado is its high anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are the natural compounds responsible for the purple color of Morado. Studies have shown that anthocyanins possess antioxidant properties, offering numerous health benefits. These include reducing inflammation and preventive potential against cancer. Research also suggests that anthocyanins may be beneficial to the gut, which can contribute to overall improvement of health. Morado’s anthocyanin content makes it an appealing choice for health-conscious consumers.
Levi Llaneta, a farmer from Albay who planted Morado shared, “Morado is very easy to sell in the market. Our buyers always look for Morado because it’s sweet, sticky, and has health benefits.”
Mike Paragozo, a farmer from Agusan del Sur, also attests to Morado’s potential to increase income. He shared that the market value of Morado commands a premium, with prices ranging from 50 to 80 pesos per kilo, compared to other corn varieties.
From Mike’s experience, customers are willing to purchase Morado, regardless of size and higher price, as they prioritize the health benefits it offers.
“Every week, we plant 1-2 kg of Morado to ensure a continuous supply,” says Mike. This consistent planting approach enables him to meet the growing demand for this unique crop and capitalize on its market potential. Mike also shared that it is easy to grow Morado. He proudly mentions, “From my experience, Morado has a high germination rate at around 95%. It is also strong against diseases.”
The uniqueness and versatility of Morado also open up various marketing avenues for farmers like Mike. He shares, “Morado can be sold to processors of corn coffee, fresh markets or directly to consumers.”
Moreover, because of its unique purple color, farms planted with Morado have the potential to attract tourists, offering an additional income opportunity for farmers. Mike is establishing Morado as a trademark in his farm in Agusan del Sur to attract tourists who are intrigued by this distinct purple corn.
“At East-West Seed, we aim to improve the lives of our farmers by offering them innovative and high-yielding vegetable seed varieties that are suitable to the local growing conditions and needs of the local market,” said Jay Lopez, General Manager of East-West Seed Philippines.
“Morado purple corn combines visual appeal, health benefits, and a significant potential to increase income, making it a favorable choice for entrepreneurial farmers,” Lopez added.