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Monday, January 16, 2012

‘Taste and Select’ best Jackfruit

Venkatakrishna Sharma, a Karnataka farmer is different in more ways than one. When everyone is raising rubber plantation in their uncultivated lands, Sharma differs. “I would rather grow jackfruits instead. At least we can eat it”, he says.

In April this year, he conducted a unique ‘home jack festival’ at his house near Vittal in Buntwal taluk. ‘Taste and Select best Jackfruit’. He painstakingly collected about forty jackfruits from his village and neighborhoods. One advantage with Sharma is that he knows how to climb and harvest jackfruits. Moreover, he has a very good knowledge of characters of hundreds of jackfruits of his area!

Judges were selected from among the guests and asked to evaluate the collected jackfruits. The selected jackfruit varieties are then grafted. Sharma has recently raised a one acre jackfruit orchard with carefully selected jack varieties including ones selected in his ‘home jack festival’. This way, his maybe the first customized jackfruit orchard of the state. It houses many of Karnataka’s famous jack varieties like Kachahally jack, Swarna, Sadananda All season jack etc.

“My orchard should be a gene-pool for interested farmers in future”, hopes Venkatakrishna. He has plans to extend the garden further.

‘Home Jack Fest’ has turned into a trend now. Months later, Dr DC Chowta and fellow-farmers hosted one at Meeyapadavu. Ubaru Rajagopala Bhat organized one at the fag end of this jack season. Interestingly, Sharma released grafts of the five jack varieties that were selected in his jack fest.

Sharma himself has named these varieties. Billampadavu Ananya, Kuddupadavu Madhura, Alike Prashanthi, Mudrakshi (Muliya Rudrakshi) and Ubaru Rajarudrakshi are the five selected varieties. “Let more and more farmers be variety conscious and plant only selected grafts”, he keeps telling.

Venkatakrishna Sharma (08255) 205502, 094802 00832

Contributed by Shree Padre,