The Indian government has announced plans to push the processing and export of the jackfruit as a priority, with plans to start the first jackfruit processing plant to begin operations at Mala in Thrissur next month. Jackfruit has been increasing in popularity as a new vegan ingredient, and is often prepared and sold as a “pulled” product with a similar consistency and taste to pulled pork.
The new processing plant will use technology developed by the Central Food Technological Research Institute and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), to produce a range of various jackfruit goods including jam, syrup and nectar, for both domestic and export markets.
It was announced by Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar that ₹15 crore (£1,682,400.00 GBP) would be invested to promote the naturally organic crop. He said: “Even if 20% of the annual production of 3 crore jackfruit in Kerala can be preserved and processed, it will go a long way in reducing post-harvest losses. It will also help us tap the booming global market for organic food products.”
This follows news from May when a farmer producer organisation (FPO) received press coverage for announcing plans to put the jackfruit “Back on the table.” K Ramkishor, President of Pingara Horticulture Farmers’ Producer Company Ltd, from the town of Vitla, said that 1,000 farmers within a 15-km radius of Vitla are members of the FPO, and that there is the capacity to process around 400 kg of raw jackfruit a day.