Jackfruit market turns dull; no takers for even seeds during lockdown
Kottakkal: As buying agents stopped coming during the lockdown, the income of the people who depend on jackfruit trees was affected. Those who collect jackfruit seeds for online market and food processing units were totally affected with the lockdown as they are unable to go out for collecting the seeds.
The Jackfruit Development and Processing Society in Wayanad collects jackfruit seeds paying the highest price in the state. They had procured about 60 tonnes of jackfruit seeds from various districts till April this year. But after the lockdown was implemented, the society could procure only 2.5 tonnes of seeds.
Value added products
The society run by 105 women members has been procuring jackfruit seeds for 3 years. They have 6 collection centres. At present, they buy seeds for Rs 25 per kilogram. They make value added products from jackfruit seed such as milk shake powder, payasam mix, baby food and cake.
The society distributes processed jackfruit seeds to other companies too. They are also planning to introduce a new product named 'Jack Fresh' from processed jackfruit seeds shortly, said Saji George, project manager of the society.
Collected from villages
Big jackfruits can be bought from villages for Rs 5-10. Upto 2-5 kilograms of seeds can be collected from a jackfruit. However, it is not profitable to buy jackfruit and pay labour charge for collecting seeds. When seeds are purchased from households, only a meager amount of maximum Rs 5 need to be paid.
High demand online
In online marketing platforms like Amazon, jackfruit seeds have huge demand. Fresh jackfruit seed from Kerala costs Rs 299 for 300 grams within India. But the price is even high overseas.