Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on March 21 declared jackfruit as its official fruit.
The official announcement in this regard was made by agriculture minister V.S. Sunil Kumar in the state assembly. The aim is to promote ‘Kerala jackfruit’ as a brand in markets across the country and abroad, showcasing its organic and nutritious qualities, he said.
This would also help in giving in the fruit’s production and sale, besides increasing its value-added products. Every year around 32 crore jackfruit is produced in the state, of which 30% gets wasted. A total revenue of Rs15,000 crore is expected through sale of jackfruit and its allied products through branding of the fruit, he said.
The ‘Kerala jackfruit’ is more organic and tasty as it is produced in a very natural way without using any chemical fertilisers or pesticides, the minister said. There are also plans to distribute maximum jackfruit saplings among the public to grow it in their backyards as part of plans to expand the cultivation, he said.
The agricultural office in Ambalavayil in Wayanad will be used as a research station for jackfruit. Elephant is the state animal of Kerala, while ‘great hornbill’ the bird and ‘kanikkonna’ the official flower. The state had recently declared pearl spot, popularly known as ‘karimeen’, as its official fish.