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ICAR-IIHR Identifies Third Unique Farmer’s Jackfruit Varieties- ‘Siddu’ and ‘Shankara’

With the identification of this new commercially viable jackfruit variety, the IIHR aims to contribute to the development of the horticultural sector while providing farmers like Nagaraj with the opportunity to benefit from their unique agricultural offerings.

Shivam Dwivedi
ICAR-IIHR Identifies Third Unique Farmer’s Jackfruit Varieties- ‘Siddu’ and ‘Shankara’ (Photo Source: Pixabay)
ICAR-IIHR Identifies Third Unique Farmer’s Jackfruit Varieties- ‘Siddu’ and ‘Shankara’ (Photo Source: Pixabay)

IIHR-Bengaluru has recently identified a new variety of jackfruit with unique characteristics that make it suitable for commercial processing. The variety, found in the field of farmer Nagaraj in Hessarghatta on Bengaluru's outskirts, has caught the attention of IIHR scientists due to its exceptional taste, nutritional value, and its potential for making products such as jam, squash, and fruit bars.

Unlike the previously promoted jackfruit varieties, iddu and Shankara, which had smaller fruits, this new variety weighs an impressive 25 to 32 kilograms. The IIHR, under the guidance of Director Sanjay Singh, has been closely observing this tree for the past three years, studying its characteristics and conducting tests to determine its nutritional value.

One notable trait of this new variety is its ability to bear fruit during the off-season, specifically from August to October. This rare feature adds to the desirability and market potential of the jackfruit.

Recognizing the immense potential of this variety, the IIHR is assisting Nagaraj in registering his variety with the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority. Once registered, Nagaraj will receive exclusive rights as the custodian of this variety. The IIHR and Nagaraj will then enter into a mutually beneficial memorandum of understanding (MoU) to multiply the variety.

Under the MoU, the IIHR will sell saplings of the new variety under its banner, while providing 70% of the proceeds to Nagaraj. This arrangement ensures that the farmer benefits financially from the promotion and distribution of the variety. According to Nagaraj, the innovative farmer responsible for planting this particular tree 43 years ago, there has always been a high demand for its fruits due to their attractiveness and unique qualities. People were willing to pay a premium to obtain this fruit, highlighting its commercial potential.

Scientist K.N. Jagadish, a subject specialist at the IIHR's Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Hirehalli, Tumakuru, first noticed this exceptional fruit and brought it to the attention of IIHR scientists. Further analysis and a biochemical profile of the fruit confirmed its exceptional characteristics.

The first experiment by the IIHR to promote farmers’ varieties by selecting the Siddu jackfruit was successful, as the farmer received good demand for saplings, resulting in substantial profits.

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