From Jackfruit "The Wonder Fruit" blog
by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, India




Jackfruit in Bangladesh


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. Jackfruit 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 Bangladesh where the tree has great socio-economic importance.

In Kerala state the jackfruit was regarded as heavenly fruit in the ancient times. Jackfruit is grown in home landscapes mostly without any management practices. Because no fertilizer is used in the home landscape it has the potential to be one of the promising fruits grown organically in Kerala. Although there is a large number of indigenous varieties of jackfruit 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 (395,368 acres) of land, with about 30% of fruits being produce from jackfruit plantations. In India, the total area under jackfruit cultivation is thought to be approximately 26,000 hectares (64,247 acres), 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 (11,119), 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: density of spines on the rind, fruit bearing, size, shape, quality and period of maturity. Being a cross pollinated crop a wide variation is observed in the important quantitative characters like fruit size, shape, colour, yield, flowering season, period of maturity etc. There is great variability in the sweetness, acidity, flavour and taste. The variations observed among clones offer better opportunity 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

Propagation

The commercial cultivation of jackfruit is still at a primitive stage in India, primarily because of the difficulty in procuring elite planting materials. Jackfruit 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 fruit that is 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 most promising vegetative propagation methods.

Uses of jackfruit

The pulp of the young fruit is cooked as a vegetable, pickled or canned. The 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 for varnishes. The timber is a medium hardwood with desirable characteristics for making furniture, oars, implements and musical instruments. 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.

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.

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.

New Variety Release

The University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, has recently released a Jackfruit selection by the name of 'Swarna'. 'Swarna' is a very good yielder that bears fruits in bunches on the trunk, primary branches and also on the secondary branches. The medium sized fruits weigh 13-17 pounds. The fruitlets are golden brown in color, juicy with a TSS of 25to 26 0 Brix , with thick flakes and a very thin rind ( < 1 cm).

The parent tree of 'Swarna' is located on the backside of the University quarters near its Cauvery Guest House. The horticulture department of the University of Agricultural Sciences has yet to produce grafts of the 'Swarna' on a large scale. There are about 10 trees planted on the premises which are about 15 years of age.

Jackfruit weighing 61 kg.
Jackfruit weight: 61 Kg. (135 pounds)



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Bibliography

Kendra, Krishi Vigyan. "Jack Fruit The Wonder Fruit." panasamwonders.blogspot.com. Farm science Centre of ICAR for Pathanamthitta District of Kerala, India. 21 June 2010. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Photograph

Padre, Shree and Patrike Adike. Biggest Jackfruit. N.d. panasamwonders.blogspot.com. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Published 26 Feb. 2015 LR
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