In an attempt to produce quality jaggery, the Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra  of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has launched a demonstration of sugarcane farming at Alangad, Karumaloor and Neerikkode areas in the district.

As part of this, KVK planted sugarcane variety CO 86032 released by ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore for jaggery purpose in 1 ha. The KVK is also planning to establish a jaggery production unit near Alangad by the time of harvesting the crop in next December.

Dilip Kumar, Principal Scientist from ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow visited the farming sites and interacted with the farmers.

Chemical-free product

He assured technology backstopping from IISR on setting up the jaggery unit. The sugarcane farming that existed in the area can be revived and the jaggery can be GI tagged.

The expected cane yield is likely to be 100 tonnes, of which 10 tonnes of jaggery can be produced. The demonstration’s main objective is to produce chemical-free quality jaggery and establish a branded marketing channel to revive the glory of age-old Alangadan Sharkara (Alengad Jaggery), said Shinoj Subramannian, Principal Scientist and Head of the KVK.

Chemically-contaminated jaggery causes a threat to human health. The pilot scale jaggery unit would give confidence to the local farmers to take up the crop further. Many more value-added products such as bottled juice, liquid jaggery, vacuum-evaporated jaggery etc, could be produced from sugarcane.