Thomas – The guardian angel of 210 jackfruit varieties
Pala: Chakkambuzha Kattakkayam native Thomas has dedicated his life for different varieties of jackfruit trees. He started taking care of jackfruit trees ever since he realized that jackfruit is the only fruit that is not contaminated. Now his 1.5-acre land is full of jackfruit trees. He preserves 210 varieties of jackfruits in his orchard. He collects saplings from different places and later grows the tree through budding.
Thomas planted the jackfruits trees cutting off his 1.5-acre rubber plantation. He also plans to expand the farming to one acre of land. The jackfruit saplings are preserved in containers after budding. Earlier, there were multiple types of jackfruits in Thomas’ compound. Later many of them happened to perish over time. Thus he decided to dedicate his life for the conservation of jackfruits.
Thomas collection include jackfruit varieties from outside Kerala also. The varieties include jackfruits that bear fruit every month to the ones that give fruit every season. Thomas collects as many jackfruit seeds as possible and sprouts them in containers. The saplings are grown providing bio manures and later buds them to make better varieties. Though 73 years old, Thomas collects new varieties of jackfruits from wherever he travels and expands his orchard.