Arthur Vincent Dias (1886 – 1960), was a philanthropist, and an independence activist of Srilanka (then known as
It was as early as 1918 that Dias started the jackfruit propagation campaign. His aim was to plant a million jackfruit trees. He went from village to village popularizing his strategy for sustained food security.
Whenever he visited someone or someone came to him, that person would invariably receive a jack sapling or jack seeds as a gift. He promoted the jack tree as the ‘bat gasa’ (tree of rice). He brought a Malaysian variety of jackfruit that bore fruit in 18 months and popularised it.
Although his campaign mainly focused on distributing jackfruit seedlings, he also distributed other plants such as papaw, mango, sapodilla, durian and golden apple.
It is no wonder that Arthur V Dias is even today affectionately remembered in Srilanka.
Contributed by Yespee
(Source: Wikipedia, www.koslanda.com)