THRISSUR: The state government’s move to announce jackfruit as the official fruit of the state has given a boost to the new entrepreneurs who plan to set up units for value-added products. According to Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, the government will make the announcement in two weeks. This will give rise to business worth Rs 1,500 crore with the help of agriculture and industries departments.
“The jackfruit includes tender (idiyanchakka), mature green jackfruit (unripe) and the ripe ones. The presence of soluble fibre pectin that adds medicinal value against diabetes is more in the green jackfruit. At this stage, the fruit has low calories and is a replacement for rice and wheat,” said Mr James Joseph who in 2014 had come up with a value-added jackfruit start-up project by giving up a job with Microsoft. He says that jackfruit worth Rs 2,000 crore is wasted in a year in the country, citing a study conducted by agriculture experts.
The organisers of the ‘Agro Food Pro’ to promote entrepreneurs for value-added products being held here said that at present there are 40 units producing value-added items in the state. More youngsters were approaching the district industries centres seeking assistance for new units. Products like flour, powder, processed curry (chakka puzhukku), pickles, ready to use curry mix made of unripe jack fruit, which gives flavours of chicken and mutton curries, are being planned by the entrepreneurs eying national and international markets.