Agri Business

Jack(fruit), the ace in the pack

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on August 18, 2020

Expert stresses giving priority to developing frozen jackfruit segment

Jackfruit remains a neglected crop in many States in spite of having many nutritional and medicinal properties. Shree Padre, who has been creating awareness on the potential of jackfruit as a food crop for more than a decade now, feels it is high time India gave priority to frozen jackfruit as this segment can offer good commercial benefits for stakeholders in this sector.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Padre said: “Why I am giving thrust to this is because it can be a good avenue for high-value marketing if the frozen jackfruit segment catches up among Indian stakeholders.”

For consumer industries

Consumers such as ice cream manufacturers, beverage industries, restaurant and catering segments, home users, and others would prefer to buy the ready raw material for multipurpose uses, if they get quality frozen jackfruit round the year. It can be used for table purpose also during the off-season, he said.

Vacuum-fried chips manufacturers too would consider sourcing raw material from this segment since selection and processing of quality good fruits for vacuum-fried chips is quite difficult because of ground realities, he said.

Storage at local level

Proposing some models for the promotion of this segment, he said this can be done at local level with a limited marketing route, procurement and minimal processing.

In jackfruit producing areas, micro entrepreneurs can think of preserving jackfruit in a small freezer with an expenditure of ₹30,000-40,000. They can buy the jackfruit locally and preserve it. They can sell locally when needed, or develop contacts and explore some markets to sell the frozen jackfruit, he said.

This will help reduce wastage in places where the technology or the developmental agencies have not reached. People there can’t do any other activities related to jackfruit processing. Apart from avoiding wastage of jackfruit, this will help earn revenue for people in the region.

Selection of best quality fruits, creation of reliable supply chain, good manufacturing practices, and branding and promotion are necessary to make frozen jackfruit segment a success story, he stressed.

Develop domestic market

To a query on the initiatives in India in this regard, he said a few companies in Kerala are exporting frozen tender jackfruit and frozen jackfruit. Major efforts are yet to be made to develop the domestic market for ‘frozen jackfruit’ in the country, though a handful of entrepreneurs are working on it in a small way.

However, countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam have already developed markets for frozen jackfruit segment, he said.

It is high time for all stakeholders, including government agencies, research institutes and food processing industries, to begin work on this important segment of jackfruit industry. Those interested should be trained in aspects related to hygiene, quality and other technical matters to begin frozen jackfruit ventures, he added.

Published on August 18, 2020

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