The Wayanad variety of tender jackfruit has been enjoying royal status since buyers are queuing up for this unique variety. Meanwhile, the price too has sky rocketed as the demand swiftly surged. The farmer is able to earn between Rs 10-13 for a single tender jackfruit at the orchards itself.
The annual jackfruit season is usually from January to May. This year, the poor harvest due to the fluctuating weather patterns and the surging demand for the fruit among diabetic patients have caused the price to soar. Moreover, jackfruit and its value-added products began enjoying a favourable demand after it was declared as the state fruit of Kerala. Farmers say that tender jackfruit has more takers than the regular ones. Many health practitioners and dietitians advice including dishes made using tender jackfruit in the regular diet of diabetic patients.
Interestingly, truck loads of Wayanadan variety of tender jackfruits are send to the North Indian states via middlemen, every year.
The sudden demand for tender jackfruit has proved advantageous for the farmers cultivating it at their farms close to the forests. Earlier, the farmers used to get rid of tender jackfruit as they attracted wild tuskers to their farmlands. Last year, many farmers cut down even the smaller ones when wild elephants crossed the forest borders and reached populated areas that are a few kilometres away. Now, the farmers are happily harvesting the tender jackfruit since a huge number of buyers are approaching them with lucrative deals.
With more than 60 crore pieces every year, jackfruit is one of the most harvested fruits in Kerala. The fact that it is organically grown and is loaded with nutritional qualities makes it a desirable food item for people of all age groups. Moreover, jackfruit trees are easy to maintain and do not need chemical fertilizers. Besides, a jackfruit tree can feed generations of people and can be the main source of nutrition for an entire family in the season.
The humble fruit that was ignored once has now been earning quite a name, even in international cuisine. The demand and price for jackfruit has gone up since the Kerala government recognizing it as the state fruit. From a jackfruit that weights 10 kg, value added products worth Rs 600 could be made. Interestingly, jackfruits are easy to harvest and some varieties even yield fruits throughout the year.
Studies reveal that jackfruit a weight-loss diet-friendly item. A storehouse of calcium, potassium and other essential nutrients, jackfruit continue to conquer the pantries all over the world.