Agriculture World

Mission Jackfruit: Meghalaya Government to Boost Entrepreneurship through Jackfruit Production

Hitul Awasthi
Hitul Awasthi

Jackfruit is one of the most abundant tree crop in Meghalaya state. But, due to lack of attention towards it’s development and processing, around 10.87 lakh metric tonnes of produce is wasted, valuing around INR 434 crores per season. 

Jackfruit has been hailed as a miracle food crop due to the health benefits derived from it. It helps in preventing ageing and keeps skin healthy. Due to versatility and hardiness, jackfruits becomes an excellent candidate for incorporation into climate change programmes. 

Health benefits of Jackfruit – 

  1. Contains phytonutrients like isoflavones, lignans and saponins, that helps in treating colorectal cancer
  2. Antioxidants in the fruit, helps in preventing damage due to free radicals
  3. Rich in fibre, thus helps in keeping digestive system healthy
  4. Boosts immunity against infections

 Keeping in view the advantages that people can derive from Jackfruit cultivation, the Government of Meghalaya came up with a five year Mission Jackfruit.  

 Objectives of Mission– 

  1. To promote processing and value addition of jackfruit by small scale and nanoenterprises 
  2. To generate employment opportunities along the value chain for unemployed youth
  3. To mitigate food and nutrition security issues
  4. To use jackfruit plants in projects for conservation of catchment areas
  5. To improve livelihood conditions of farmers, by promoting jackfruit processing

To promote market for products derived from jackfruit 

Implementation strategy – 

  1. Funding to boost research activities for local varietal identification, germplasm survey and technology transfer
  2. Propagation of planting materials in both public and private nurseries
  3. Improved storage and packaging facilities for jackfruit
  4. 3,000 hectares of catchment area to be covered with jackfruit 
  5. Formation of collection centres. Agro-processing clusters and FPOs for jackfruit
  6. Establishment of two Techno-Incubation Centres (TICs) in the state, to provide training and incubation to entrepreneurs
  7. Through Nano start-up fund, the state aims at establishing 300 Nano jackfruit processing enterprises at village level
  8. Organization of Jackfruit melas/ awareness camps in every district and State JackfuitFestival 

 Botanical description – 

Jackfruit belongs to family Moraceae and genus Artocarpus. It is the largest tree borne fruit in the world. Propagation is usually carried out by seeds. Trials on shelf-life assessment, indicates that jackfruit can be kept for 3 to 6 weeks at 52oF to 55oF and relative humidity of 85% to 95%. 

 Products to be prepared by Jackfruit processing – 

  1. Ripe jackfruit preserve
  2. Jackfruit chips
  3. Jackfruit pulp
  4. Jackfruit Mixture
  5. Dehydrated ripe jackfruit: Bites
  6. Dehydrated ripe jackfruit pulp: Chew
  7. Ripe jackfruit squash
  8. Jackfruit pickle
  9. Dehydrated tender jackfruit
  10. Dehydrated raw jackfruit
  11. Ripe jackfruit frozen RTS juice
  12. Jackfruit jam
  13. Ready to cook tender jackfruit
  14. Jackfruit seed flour
  15. Jackfruit leathers/jerky

 Conclusion  

Jackfruit cultivation has a great potential to promote economic prosperity in the state. Keeping this thing in mind, the state government came up with a Mission on jackfruit. If losses due to spoilage are controlled, jackfruit cultivation can emerge as an additional source of income for the people of Meghalaya. 

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