Champakka wasted on large scale; no scheme to make value added products
Cherupuzha (Kannur): Water apple trees (Champakka) can be commonly found in many households in the hilly range. Though the families pluck fruits for household purposes, majority of the fruits are wasted. Water apple is also called rose apple, bell fruit, wax apple and Java apple and Champakka in Malayalam.
Even after bats and birds consume the fruits, hundreds of water apples fall from the tree unnoticed and perish in the soil. As the fruit is common in all households, it does not have any demand in the hillside area. Also the farmers do not get any benefit from it.
The value added products like juice, squash, jam, wine and syrup made from water apple can be a source of income for the farmers. But no such ventures are initiated on commercial scale. People make value added products from water apple for household purposes only.
The fruit is called water apple as it is juicy and the name bell fruit is derived from its bell-like shape. They are nutritious and delicious. Similarly, passion fruit and jackfruit also are available aplenty in the hill range. But there are no schemes to make value added products from them.