Kadamba Marketing Society of Sirsi, Karnataka, India has been striving hard to popularize jackfruit in Uttara Kannada district. Starting from 2008, so far it has held three Jack Fests in Sirsi. This has inspired farmers and consumers and has shown the possibility of utilizing jackfruits in different ways to improve rural economy.
Jackfruit pappad is very famous in Malnad area. Kadamba has been giving training to women belonging to self-help groups in pappad making. So far it has given more than 15 training in four taluks – Siirsi, Siddapura, Yellapura and Ankola. All the jackfruits made by these women are bought by Kadamba.
Last year, Kadamba sold 1.5 lakh jack pappads. This year jackfruit crop is less. They could get only 60,000 pappads that were sold even before the jackfruit season was over. “After we have exhausted the stock, two customers one with a requirement of 10,000 and another with 25,000 approached us. We couldn’t give them enough”, points out Manager Vishweshwara Bhat. According to him, 2-3 lakh pappads can be easily sold in a year.
Kadamba pays 80 paisa to the women and sells the pappad for one rupee under the brand name ‘Mayura’. Next year, it plans to start a pappad making unit of its own to augment the production. Introduction of driers would also help because jackfruits that grow after the monsoon onset can’t be utlised as drying is not possible.
Starting this year, Kadamba has introduced another activity to facilitate farmers to market their jackfruits. Every Tuesday it conducts ‘Jackfruit market’ in its own premises. It buys the fruits at Rs 2 per Kg of soft-fleshed jackfruit and Rs 3 for firm fleshed type. Keeping one rupee as commission for a Kg, the fruits are sold. “Though the main buyers are chips and pappad makers, for firm-fleshed types, good number of end consumers from the city come to us”, says a Kadamba staffer. Interestingly, both chips and pappad can also be made from soft-fleshed type, locally termed as ambali, which are otherwise wasted. This year total sales have reached nearly 10 tonnes.
“We are not left with any fruit at the end of the day. One value adding unit has promised to buy if and when there are left-overs. In fact, the demand is rising as more and more people come to know about our jackfruit market”, points out Vishweshwara Bhat.
This year, in the Jack Fest, Kadamba served a Jackfruit Lunch where except rice, all other curry items, deserts etc were made of jackfruit. This was very much appreciated by all guests. A team of people, including some professional cooks are now fully trained in this. Impressed by their cooking, the horticulture department invited the team all the way to Tumkur for their Jack Fair. “To popularize jackfruit and its possibilities, if booked well in advance, we can arrange to send this team to other parts of the state”, says Bhat.
Kadamba Marketing Society (08384) 233 163; firstname.lastname@example.org