Given the different varieties of jackfruits that grow across the state, the Malayali's love for it is well-known.
Given the different varieties of jackfruits that grow across the state, the Malayali’s love for it is well-known. Be it the Vishu or Onam sadya, the Malayali looks forward to traditional desserts such as the ”Chakka” payasam, or the jackfruit payasam, not to mention the jackfruit chips that are essential to munch on during tea time and the jackfruit biriyani that is popular in some parts of the state. The humble jackfruit is based on a thriving agricultural community in the state but it is still known as the common man’s meal, not on par with other commodities that enjoy a more elevated status with the elite Malayalis. Now Kerala is taking the jackfruit more seriously and wants to elevate it to a ”five star” status. The state is gearing up to host the first of its kind International Jackfruit Festival in Wayanad, which will be inaugurated by Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar.
Kerala’s International Jackfruit Festival seems to have drawn global attention as well, given that more than 17 scientists from countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Participants will be presenting their research papers on topics related to agriculture. It is scheduled to take place from August 9 to August 14.
The highlight of the International Jackfruit Festival will be the ”Chakka sadhya” or the ”Jackfruit festival” which will be hosted for about two thousand participants.
So, what does this festival offer those who are interested in knowing more about jackfruit cultivation?
Here’s a brief overview of what to expect at Kerala’s first International Jackfruit Festival:
1. The five-day long celebration will focus on spreading awareness about how to make cultivation of different varieties of jackfruits more profitable and a commercial success among other farm products.
2. There will also be a discussion on food safety measures and how jackfruit cultivation can make farmers in the state more prosperous. Besides, there are studies being undertaken to research on the medicinal values of the jackfruit.
3. Through this festival, the idea is to educate farmers and interested stakeholders on how to get started with jackfruit cultivation and how to market it commercially. Special sessions will also be held for women participants to encourage them to become active stakeholders in the process of jackfruit cultivation.
4. Besides workshops and discussions, there will be around 500 stalls which will display top quality items to promote the diversity of jackfruit cultivation – be it in the form of food items, products and so on.
5. All available publications in print, magazines, and booklets which have useful information about jackfruit cultivation and marketing will be showcased at the festival.
6. A delectable ”chakka sadya” (Jackfruit sadya) is expected to be one of the highlights of this event. Around two thousand people are expected for the sadya.
7. For the first time, a contest inviting participants to display machines with global standards that are used by them for jackfruit cultivation, promotion and marketing is expected to gather considerable interesting and provoke discussion among various stakeholders.
8. The organisers of the International Jackfruit Festival include the Council for Agricultural Research, International Tropical Fruits Network, International Society for South East Asian Agriculture Science and District Legal Service Authority. Representatives from the Central Agriculture Ministry will also take part in the festival along with representatives from other state governments.
Finally, the International Jackfruit Festival’s message is clear – Kerala is all set to elevate the humble jackfruit to a five-star status and make its farmers more prosperous.