ORCHARD IN WESTERN MINDANAO GROWS FIGS AND OTHER EXOTIC FRUIT-BEARING TREES
Agriculture|November - December 2020
FIGS IN THE PHILIPPINES
PATRICIA BIANCA S. TACULAO

FIGS (Ficus carica) are fruits of a tree with the same name. It is indigenous to select areas extending from the Asian part of Turkey to northern India. However, its natural seedlings are prolific in most Mediterranean countries where it’s called “the poor man’s food.” Ironically, it can be expensive in areas where it doesn’t grow naturally.

The fruit can be consumed fresh or dried and contains significant amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.

Seeing as how figs can be cultivated in warm countries, a nursery and orchard in Western Mindanao decided to grow the fruit-bearing trees in their area.

According to Leslie May Canilao, a proprietor of the Westin Plant Nursery and Orchard Farm in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, one of the fig varieties that they grow is the Black Genoa, which is a fast-growing tree that can grow to a height of three to five meters tall.

During summer, this particular fig variety produces numerous fruits with purple-green skin and dark red colored flesh.

The farm propagates the figs by introducing natural fertilizers such as fermented fruit juice (FFJ), fermented plant juice (FPJ), and organic seaweed foliar to ensure maximum fruit production. They also use this same technique with growing mulberry.

“Figs, like mulberries, are easy plants to grow in containers. Anyone can grow it--even those who have no experience in gardening,” Canilao said.

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