Enormous quantities of jackfruit is wasted in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya due to lack of intervention, suitable infrastructure, processing and packaging, storage containers and lack of marketing information every year.
State officials estimate a loss of Rs.434 crore each season as villagers leave the fruit rotting in the open. In East Garo Hills alone, the villagers losses more than Rs.118 crore every year by under-utilizing the fruit due to the lack of awareness among the rural communities.
“Although the villagers here suffer from lack of proper nutrition and income, It is a paradox that Garo Hills wastes 80 percent of the fruits every season, which could instead have brought huge profits in this rural districts” Vijay Mantri, the district magistrate of East Garo Hills told IANS.
The fruit which is rich in vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals besides potassium, magnesium, proteins and iron is also used for timber, fodder, fuel as well as medicinal and industrial products.
The local government want to reversed the situation and is determined to create awareness among the rural communities about the fruit and explore livelihood opportunities.
Stepping in as its first initial consultation, the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority in collaboration with the East Garo Hills District Basin Unit to conduct a two-day “Jackfruit Festival” starting July 11 at William Nagar. The festival will include cooking of jackfruit products, jackfruit eating and biggest jackfruit competitions.