The Kerala government on Wednesday declared jackfruit as its official fruit.

The official announcement in this regard was made by the Agriculture Minister, VS Sunil Kumar, in the State Assembly.

The aim is to promote the ‘Kerala jackfruit’ as a brand in markets across the country and abroad, showcasing its organic and nutritious qualities, he said. This will also help in boosting the fruit’s production and sale, besides increasing its value-added products. Every year, around 32 crore jackfruits are produced in the State, of which 30 per cent gets wasted.

‘Natural and organic’

A total revenue of ₹15,000 crore is expected through the sale of jackfruit and its allied products through branding of the fruit, Sunil Kumar said.

The fruit is more organic and tasty as it is produced in a very natural way without using any chemical fertilisers or pesticides, he said.

There are also plans to distribute maximum jackfruit saplings among the public to grow it in their backyards as part of the plans to expand the cultivation, he said. The agricultural office in Ambalavayil in Wayanad will be used as a research station for jackfruit.