The Meghalaya government has formulated an exclusive policy to explore the potential of the neglected poor man’s fruit — the jackfruit.
The draft policy of the ‘Mission Jackfruit’ aims to create livelihood opportunities for rural and urban people by exploring the potential of the fruit, which is going waste now.
Apart from addressing food security and nutritional issues, the five-year mission plan is aimed at creating a value chain for jackfruit products and job opportunities for many. This mission hopes to improve the lives of around 82,000 farmers in the State.
KN Kumar, Agricultural Production Commissioner of Meghalaya, and Additional Chief Secretary to the Governor of Meghalaya, told BusinessLine that Meghalaya could be the first State to plan an exclusive mission document for jackfruit.
Asked what made Meghalaya to think of a mission document , he said jackfruit grows in the wild in Meghalaya, especially in the Garo Hills region. Inspite of this, nearly 75 per cent of the production is wasted. The mission intends to generate economic activity and create employment opportunities around jackfruit.
With nearly a million trees in the State, ‘Mission Jackfruit’ wants to identify local varieties, conduct a germplasm survey, and to initiate steps for technology sourcing and transfer. It also wants promote jackfruit cultivation on 2,000 hectares of catchment areas.