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Sun, 22 Jul 2018

Northeast Today

Jackfruit Festival Celebrated in Meghalaya

Jackfruit Festival Celebrated in Meghalaya
July 07
13:03 2018

People from all walks of life thronged the first State Level Jackfruit Festival of Meghalaya organised by the Department of Agriculture on Friday under the theme, “The humble Jack-with a large heart”.

A variety of food items such as Jackfruit chips, pickles, sweets, wine, biscuit, cakes, curry, chop, pakoras, squash etc., were put on display which were prepared using unripe and ripe jackfruit, even the seeds also.

Speaking on the occasion, Additional Chief Secretary, K.N. Kumar said the festival is meant to trigger the urban demand even as 75 per cent of ripe jackfruit in the state is wasted.

Stating that a vast economic opportunity is waiting to be explored, he said, “The losses incurred by Meghalaya due to the wasted jackfruit will therefore be about Rs 400 crore per year; especially from the Garo Hills region and border areas of Khasi and Jaintia hills.”

The draft of the Jackfruit Mission will be released by the Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.

“The Jackfruit Mission will seek to an investment of about Rs 80 crore over a period of five years. The Mission will impact 82, 000 farmers will create about 50 small and medium enterprises and spawn about 200 home-scale nano enterprises,” Kumar said.

He added that Sangma has written to the Union Minister for Agriculture to consider the possibility of establishing a National Research Centre on Jackfruit at Tura, to promote research and technology induction in jackfruit value addition, which will be useful for the whole region.

Meanwhile, Sangma said, “We need to create the right policy, right system and simply tweak it a bit and you will see the results and the entire dynamics change.”

On the reason why the government selected Jackfruit as one of the missions to be launched immediately, he said, “These are the areas where we already have our strengths in.”

He said the festival is only the beginning of things to come, “There is a defined outcome that has already been set. It is well planned mission and you will see this in the next five years, how it will roll out.”

- The Shillong Times

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