Who wants a pulled pork ice-cream? What if it's made from fruit? What about a healthy alternative to meat? If you tuck into a Jackfruit, all this is possible. Today is Jackfruit Day, and we celebrate this highly nutritious, gigantic Asian fruit that just happens to taste like pork. ACIAR projects in Asia are helping farmers to grow better jackfruit.
|Janaki Devi sells her produce at the twice-weekly market in Kanakpatti village of Terai, Nepal Photo Conor Ashleigh|
Jackfruit could feed starving people in developing countries. It’s the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Each fruit is bigger than your head: 35 kg, packed with calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. One jackfruit on its own is a healthy meal, and can be turned into savory and sweet dishes. You can find delicious recipes for jackfruit curries, pizza, sandwiches, enchiladas, jams, desserts and sweets on the Jackfruit Day website.
Although jackfruit is healthy and tasty, its shelf life is only a few weeks. ACIAR projects in the Philippines are extending its shelf life, and we’re developing domestic and export value chains to help farmers sell jackfruit and other tropical fruit. New methods to make jackfruit crops more productive, resilient and profitable will help smallholder tropical fruit farmers earn more money.
Farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains of India, Bangladesh and Nepal are also selling jackfruit. We are helping local farmers grow fruit and vegetables and sell them. We have two projects in the region: one is helping smallholder farmers increase their crop productivity and resilience and linking them to markets, and another is improving dry season agriculture, so farmers have water available all year round. We’ll raise a jackfruit smoothie to that!
By Nick Fuller
Here’s more information on our projects
Tropical tree fruit research and development in the Philippines and northern Australia to increase productivity, resilience and profitability
Sustainable and resilient farming systems intensification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (SRFSI)
Improving dry season agriculture for marginal and tenant farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains through conjunctive use of pond and groundwater resources