There’s always ‘Hope’!

‘Hualien AVRDC No. 2 – Hope,’ a new disease-resistant pumpkin variety, was released in Taiwan by the Hualien District Agricultural Research and Extension Station (DARES) at Guan-Ease Farm, Shou-feng Town, Hualien on 28 April 2020.

The severity and spread of pumpkin viruses has been on the rise in Taiwan in recent years. To address the problem, in 2012 Hualien DARES and the World Vegetable Center began screening and selecting pumpkin lines for virus resistance.

‘Hualien-AVRDC No. 2-Hope’ proved to be a high yielding line that produces attractive bell-shaped fruit with a sweet taste—and is resistant to Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). With virus resistance bred into the variety, farmers can reduce pesticide use when growing the crop. ‘Hualien AVRDC No. 2-Hope’ is suitable for organic farming.

“The Hope pumpkin has several advantages over the traditional papaya-shaped pumpkin,” said Chii-Jeng Wang, Associate Researcher from Hualien DARES. “It is heat-tolerant, virus-resistant, and high yielding, and it can be harvested from May to July to get a better price. Moreover, the bell-shaped fruit is easier to fit the carton when transported to the market.”

Juey-peng Lin, owner of Guan-Ease Farm, planted ‘Hope’ last year and realized a very good result; he has planted the variety again this year. At the field demonstration on his farm, participants evaluated ‘Hope’ and gave it high marks. They hope that ‘Hope’ will be a profitable crop in the seasons to come.

‘Hope” has a sweet taste and good keeping qualities. Photo: CNA

Viruses are no match for ‘Hope.’ The variety is the result of eight years of breeding work by Hualien DARES and the World Vegetable Center. Photo: UDN