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Saturday, June 26, 2010


CARD-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Pathanamthitta organized “Advanced training on Jackfruit production technology with special emphasis to processing and value addition from 14th June to 18th June 2010 in collaboration with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Campus for eight Master trainers from four NGO’s namely People’s Institute for Development and training, Bhatiya Manav Vikas Seva Sasthan, NEEV and Badlao Foundation of Jharkand state. The National training tried to explore hidden potentials of Jack right from the propagation techniques to Marketing of jack products. The training covered topics like propagation techniques, processing and preservation technologies, traditional food products, commercial food products and their packaging and labeling, processed products and quality standards and credit availability and preparation of bankable projects. The Master trainers were also given an exposure to the commercial and export potential of jackfruit through a one day visit to GRAMA in Kottayam district, one of the successful commercial unit in Jackfruit processing in Kerala. Hence the five days training acted as an eye opening experience to the Master trainers of Jharkand regarding various ways in which Jackfruit could be exploited through the principle of “learning by doing and seeing is believing”.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jack Fruit-The wonder Fruit

Jack fruit or Panasa scientifically known as Artocarpus heterophylla Lam belongs to the family Moraceae and the fruit, a gigantic syncarp, is the largest fruit of the world. It is an indigenous fruit crop of Kerala probably originated in the Western Ghats. Jack is widely grown as an important tree in Kerala’s homesteads and also as a shade crop in coffee plantations. It is popularly known as poor man’s fruit in the eastern and southern parts if India. The jackfruit is a multi-purpose species providing food, timber, fuel, fodder, medicinal and industrial products. It is a nutritious fruit, rich in vitamins A, B and C, potassium, calcium, iron, proteins and carbohydrates. Due to the high levels of carbohydrates, jackfruit supplements other staple foods in times of scarcity in some regions. It is the national fruit of Bangaladesh where the tree has great socio economic importance.
In Kerala state jackfruit which was regarded as heavenly fruit in the ancient periods is grown in an area of 97536ha with annual production of 348 million nos. and productivity of 3568 nos. Jack is grown in homestead mostly without any management practices. As no fertilizer is applied to the homestead maintained jack, it also has the potential to be identified as one of the promising fruits grown organically in Kerala by default. Although there is large number of indigenous varieties of jack grown in the state, systematic documentation regarding the varieties is yet to be done. Bangladesh produces 1.5 million tons of fruits from 160,000 hectares of land, with about 30% of fruits being produce from jack plantations. In India, the total area under jackfruit cultivation is thought to be approximately 26,000 hectares, of which, an estimated 100,000 trees are grown in back yards and as intercrops amongst other commercial crops in south India. Jackfruit is also grown commercially in Sri Lanka over of an area of about 4,500 hectares, primarily for timber, although the fruit is much appreciated.
Genetic Variability
Jackfruit has innumerable types or forms of fruit characteristics. These types differ widely among themselves on bearing and density of spines on the rind, fruit bearing, size, shape, quality and period of maturity. Being a cross pollinated crop wide variation is observed for all important quantitative characters like fruit size, shape, colour, yield, flowering season, period of maturity etc. There is wide variability in the sweetness, acidity, flavour and taste. The variations observed among clones offer better scope for improvement through clonal selection. Many local varieties like Gulabi, Thamarachakka, Champa etc have originated in this way (Mitra, 1998). Muttom varikka (Sreenivasan, 1970), Thenvarikka, Palodan varikka and Singapore varikka are important varikka varieties. Burliar-1, Paler-1 and Peechiparai-1 are promising single plant selections released by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Veera raghava dattam et al, 1996).
Commercial cultivation of jackfruit is still at a primitive stage in India, primarily because of the difficulty in procuring elite planting materials. Jack is easily propagated through seeds. The seedlings take 8- 10 years to bear fruits. Due to the highly cross pollinated nature of the crop, vegetative propagation is essential in order to get true to type plants. Vegetative propagation through cutting, layering, budding and grafting has been reported by various workers with varying amount of success. In Kerala inarching is still the most common method of vegetative propagation followed. This method is cumbersome as the seedlings have to be carried to the mother tree from which the grafts are to be produced. Soft wood grafting and patch budding are the two promising vegetative propagation methods in jack.
Uses of jackfruit
The pulp of the young fruit is cooked as a vegetable, pickled or canned. Pulp of ripe fruit is eaten fresh or made into various local delicacies including chutney, jam, jelly, and paste, or preserved as candies by drying or mixing with sugar, honey or syrup. The pulp is also used to flavour ice cream and beverages, made into jackfruit honey, reduced to concentrate or powder, and used for preparing drinks. The seeds can be eaten boiled, roasted or dried and salted as table nuts, or they can be ground to make flour and blended with wheat flour for baking. Young leaves can be used as fodder for cattle and other livestock.
A yellow dye can also be extracted from the wood particles and used to dye cotton. The latex which flows from all parts of the plant when injured is also used as adhesive. The resins within the latex may also have some value in varnishes. The timber is a medium hardwood with desirable characteristics in making furniture, oars, implements and musical instruments and the wood is also used in construction. It is termite proof and fairly resistant to fungal and bacterial decay. The roots of older trees are good materials for carving and picture framing. The timber is exported from Sri Lanka and India to Europe. With its dense crown and leathery broad glabrous leaves, it is an attractive tree. The trees may also serve as shade for coffee and as support for black pepper (Piper nigrum).
Different parts of the jackfruit tree have medicinal properties. The pulp and seeds are used as a tonic, the warmed leaves have healing properties if placed onto wounds, and the latex, mixed with vinegar promotes healing of abscesses, snakebite and glandular swellings. The wood has a sedative effect and its pith is said to cause abortion. The root extract is used as a remedy against skin diseases, asthma, fever and diarrhea. According to Aurveda, jack fruit can redue “Kapha” and “Pitha”. Regular consumption of jack fruit will improve facial skin glow and seeds have an aphrodisiac effect. Being a rich source of Potassium it is an ideal food for patients with hypertension.
Processing, preservation and Value addition of jack fruits
It is estimated that Kerala produces 30 lakh tonnes of jackfruit annually. A major chunk of it is wasted in the absence of scientific processing and preservation.Different types of value-added products can be prepared by processing of jackfruit bulbs, seeds and rind. Value added products like jackfruit halwa, jackfruit finger chips, jackfruit Ready-to-Serve (RTS) beverage, jackfruit candy, jackfruit bar, jackfruit srikhand, jackfruit kulfi, jackfruit bulbs. Jackfruit bulb flour was also utilized in the preparation of pakoda, dairy and bakery products like biscuits, muffins and ice creams. Value added products like Jack seed masala vada, Jack seed flour, fortified jack seed chapathi can be prepared from the Jack fruit seed. Jackfruit rind is very good source of pectin and this can be extracted from the rind. The rind can be used for pickling.
Challenges and future prospects
There are number of factors, limiting the potential exploitation of jackfruit, the major reason being unorganized supply chain management. Unlike in other potential crops absence of strong marketing system is the major hindrance in its commercial exploitation. Although number of indigenous methods are available in post harvest handling including processing and value addition, since these fruits have not been widely cultivated involving scientific management practices but has sizable production, growers by and large neglect it. Cutting and cleaning of the fruit is also cumbersome and this also results in neglect of the fruit.