Growers urged to process jackfruit for value addition

15 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

RAJSHAHI: Agricultural scientists and researchers have urged the growers to process jackfruit for their financial benefit through value addition of the seasonal fruit.

There is an ample scope of improving socio-economic conditions of the jackfruit-growing area through boosting the production of jackfruit-based various safe foods. Besides, diversified use of Jackfruit can play a vital role to reduce postharvest losses of jackfruit, reports BSS.

Agricultural experts came up with the observations while addressing technical sessions of a daylong farmers training on production of jackfruit-based safe food at Baraigram village under Baraigram upazila in Natore district on Saturday.

Postharvest Technology Division (PHTD) of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and New Vision Solutions Limited (NVSL) jointly hosted the training under the project titled “Postharvest Management, Processing and Marketing of Jackfruits”.

Upazila Agricultural Officer Sharmin Sultana, PHTD Senior Scientific Officer and Principal Investigator of the project Dr Golam Ferdous Chowdhury, NVSL Project Officer Kaiser Alam and its Senior Associate Researcher Atiqul Islam conducted the training sessions as resource persons disseminating their expertise on the issue.

In the training, the farmers were given ideas and knowledge on how to produce various nutritious foods like jackfruit chips, jams, jackfruit leather, pickles, fresh-cut, ready-to-cook, frozen and dried food.

PHTD and New Vision Solutions Limited are jointly implementing the project with financial support of Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF) in order to reduce the postharvest losses through enhancing jackfruit production, postharvest management, processing and marketing.

On the occasion, a group of 15 farmers and small entrepreneurs has been formed and they will work to reduce loss of jackfruit by supplying jackfruit and manufacturing and marketing various types of jackfruit products.

Dr Ferdous Chowdhury told the participants that processing of jackfruit after the best uses of the modern technologies can be the vital means of its value addition besides stopping the wastages.

Around 10.36 lakh tonnes of jackfruit are produced in Bangladesh every year and of which 1.26 lakh tonnes are in Rajshahi division.

Apart from food and timber, jackfruit, the national fruit of Bangladesh, has some other benefits including leaves of jackfruit trees is a source of food for goats and the trees produce a sticky latex substance that can be used as glue.

Jackfruit trees are generally easier and cheaper to cultivate than other popular staples like wheat and corn because they don’t have to be replanted every year.

Dr Chowdhury said Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the country. One fruit can weigh between 5 and 30 kilograms and contain hundreds of seeds that are rich in protein, potassium, calcium, and iron — all of which are important for bodily growth.

Reportedly, up to 50 per cent of jackfruits grown in Bangladesh valued at around Taka 500 crore go to waste, partly because the fruit goes bad if it’s not eaten or preserved within a few weeks.

So, proper collection, management, processing technology and conservation is very important for substantial and sustainable reduction of the yearly losses.

He also said Jackfruit contains high-powered antioxidants that protect the human body from harmful cancer.

So, the farmers are being imparted training to motivate them towards making various food items of jackfruit.

Apart from this, various steps are being taken to popularize jackfruit through various promotional activities under the three-year project being implemented in eight districts.