Introducing “Champion watermelon”.
And farmers in Southern Mindanao are happy that this hybrid variety, named Takii Watermelon Oriental Ball P1, has come along.
In Davao del Sur, for instance, farmers described it as dako (big) and daghang mamunga (prolific), much better than the old variety.
Introduced by the Allied Botanical Corp. (ABC), the country’s only full Filipino-owned vegetable breeding company, Tokii Oriental Ball was introduced to the farming sector in a series of harvest festivals conducted by the company headed by Will U. Co.
Other provinces now growing it include Davao del Norte and North Cotabato.
ABC cooperator Donald Monteza noted the following characteristics of the striped Takii Oriental Ball. It is early maturing (65-70 days), is vigorous and fast-growing. It is also very prolific and produces large, very sweet fruits weighing 15-18 kilograms each. It does not need pruning and is resistant to diseases.
A barangay captain, Teodulo Briones, attested: “Wala pa kaming nasubok na watermelon na mas malaki pa at mas maraming mamunga kesa sa Oriental Bal. Salamat sa ABC sa pagmamalasakit sa aming mga magsasaka” (We have never tried a watermelon that is prolific and grows this big other than Oriental Ball. We thank ABC for its concern for us farmers.)
In North Cotabato, the hybrid variety is now considered “the much talked about watermelon.”
A harvest festival held there was so important that one barangay head. Alex Angulo, cut short his commitments that day to attend it. And he was glad that he had personally witnessed how the farmers optimistically welcome Takii Oriental Ball.
Another ABC cooperator, Wilbert Servesa, was so impressed by its fruiting ability and prolificacy. “Sa 21 taon kong pagtatanim ng watermelon, ngayon lang ako nakapagtanim ng ganito kalaki. Di na ako magtatanim ng iba pa.” (In the 21 years that I have been planting watermelon, this is the first time that I have harvested a fruit this big. I won’t plant another variety ever.)
At the Davao del Norte festival, Rogelio Anuya also described the variety as “very vigorous, has good shipping quality, does not easily crack, and produces uniform big fruits.” It matures 10 days earlier than other watermelon he had been planting.
Moreover, Anuya reported that such to his surprise, the constant heavy rains for a month that aborted the second fruit setting in their place did not hamper Oriental Ball’s growth.
By Rudy A. Fernandez