Jack fruit, the biggest organic fruit, is one among the highly neglected food resources of the country. It is a zero attention crop with high productivity. About 60 to 70 percent of Jack fruit grown are wasted every year. There is limited documentation on value added products, recipes and excellent jack varieties that are suitable for table purpose, vegetable, and processing.
Jack fruit provides various macro-micro nutrients needed for the human body. It is referred as the poor man’s food as well as “Nutrient of the giants” due to its nutrient composition.
The main issues of its underutilization are:
- Wastage of available Jack fruit during season in villages due to lack of processing skills, storage facilities, and improper harvesting.
- Lack of awareness on the potentials of jack fruit for processing and value addition.
- Lack of need based research on this local resource to ensure food & nutrition security.
- Unavailability of appropriate and women friendly technologies for cutting, processing, storage, and value addition, especially in the villages.
Mitraniketan with the support of DST implemented a project to promote jackfruits and its value addition for Livelihood security among Kanikkar tribal community. Under the project we have created awareness on the importance of jack fruits and the possibilities of its processing, storage and value addition among the Kanikkar women targeted. We could develop skills of 200 women in processing / semi-processing activities like pulping, dehydrating and brine; and value addition of jack fruit. We have linked with the University of Agricultural Sciences (BLR) for technology adoption. With the support of DST we could establish a Nodal centre (processing unit) with required machines and tools for training and value addition at Mitraniketan.
A variety of products developed from Jack fruit in the Nodal centre, and transferred its technology to trained women who inturn started 3 Jackfruit processing units in the THOLICODU PANCHAYTH. The Processing unit at Mitraniketan and the Micro enterprises at the villages produce and market value added products. Mitraniketan continues to give Training and technical support to initiate Semi processing units in Jack Fruit.