Introduction to Jackfruit Cultivation:
You can get some basic knowledge about Jackfruit Cultivation after reading the following information.
Jackfruit is a large fruit among all other fruits; the tree of Jackfruit is an evergreen tree like fig, mulberry, and breadfruit. The Jackfruit tree belongs to Moraceae family just like the figs, mulberry and breadfruit trees. The scientific name of Jackfruit is Artocarpus Hetrophyllus. The Jackfruit is also named as jakfruit, fenne and jack tree. These Jackfruits are native to India. They are popularly found in south-west India, but now-a-days they are popularly found round the world. In India, it is widely grown in Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Characteristics of Jackfruit:
Jackfruit tree: This tree is mostly related with fig and bread tree, it reaches up to a height of 20 m (average).
Jackfruit leaves: Each leaf of the Jackfruit tree is 20 cm long.
Jackfruit Flowers: The tree has two types of flowers, frequently noticed near terminal branches and foot stalk.
Jackfruit: The fruit is green in colour, the bulbs inside the fruit are the parts which can be consumed. They are light yellowish in colour with a sweet smell and taste. The fruit is large in size. The fruit is soft and fleshy.
Properties of Jackfruit:
Nutrients that are present in Jackfruits are:
- Energy: 95 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 19.08 g
- Fat: 0.64 g
- Vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
- Minerals: Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Manganese
- Protein: 1.72 g
Cultivars/Varieties of Jackfruit:
These are the popularly found varieties of Jackfruit.
- Koozha chakka
- Kha-nun nang
- Singapore jack.
Jackfruit Cultivation Practices:
Soil and climate requirements for Jackfruit Cultivation:
The soil, which is most suitable for Jackfruits should be rich in nutrients and well drained. Jackfruit attains great importance from sandy soils. Moist stress can be tolerated by Jackfruit trees; lime and chlorine content in the soil can also be tolerated by the trees up to some extent.
For Jackfruit cultivation warm, humid plains and humid hill slopes up to 1,500 meters elevation are considered suitable. In higher altitudes the fruit quality gets deteriorated, but they grow well in arid and warm plains of south India. Jackfruit Cultivations in the cold and frost climates is harmful.
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Land preparation and planting for Jackfruit Cultivation:
While planting and before planting the land should be prepared by applying farmyard manure. For land rotten farmyard manure @ 30 kg and superphosphate @ 500 g should be mixed with soil and each pit should be filled with this mixture of soil. The plants should be planted in 1 x 2 x 1 m pits. In each pit 3-4 seeds should be for stronger plants. The soil should be pressed firmly to avoid water logging near the pits after planting during the rainy season.
Propagation method for Jackfruit Cultivation:
Jackfruits propagation is done through seeds. Propagation through seeds takes more time for germinating, blooming and fruit setting. If we want to propagate good plants, healthy, well matured and good prolific producer seeds should be used in propagation. Larger seeds should be used for propagation. Seeds should be sown in beds, polythene bags or in coconut husk after the extraction. For sowing purpose heavier seeds should be selected. Before sowing them, they should be soaked in water and 25-50 PPM (Parts per Million) solution for 24 hours. Then the seeds will germinate uniformly.
Manure and fertilization method in Jackfruit Cultivation:
While transplanting the tree in the main field, farmyard manure should be applied to the land. The plants should be fertilized with the application of Nitrogen: Phosphorus: Potassium @ 75: 60: 50 g. The soil should be tested before applying the fertilizers to the plants, as testing the soil can make the farmer aware of the deficient nutrients in the soil.
Irrigation methods in Jackfruit Cultivation:
Light irrigation should be supplied to the Jackfruit trees. This tree is sensitive to drought so frequent light irrigation should be supplied to the trees. For Jackfruits ring irrigation system should be used for better irrigation. For young orchards, irrigation should be done manually during the first 2-3 years. Always the soil should maintain moisture, so the frequency of irrigation also depends on the moisture content in the soil. A Drip Irrigation System is the best method of providing water on daily basis or whenver needed.
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Flowering and Fruiting in Jackfruit Cultivation:
Without any participation of propagation method, the tree starts bearing fruits after 7-8 years after planting. The blooming of the flower starts in December and it continues till March. The fruit ripens in summer. The fruit growth continues till September at higher altitudes. Sometimes, in the off season a flowering can be noticed. On the tree the female spike are borne on the foot of stalks, while the male ones can be seen on both terminal branches and also on foot of stalks. The female spikes are vigorous and they have granular surface and the male ones have a smooth surface with thinner stalks. The pollination process is completed within 3-6 days after the bloom.
During summer and spring, the fruits are developed completely. They will be ready for harvest during June or early July. If the entire flower is not pollinated from all sides, then fruit will not develop completely. Fruits attain an irregular shape and size. The lack of pollination leads to drop of female spike.
Intercultural methods in Jackfruit Cultivation:
Weeding of Jackfruit Orchard: For Jackfruit tree ring weeding is more helpful to control the weeds around the tree. During the initial 3-4 years, regular weeding should be done.
Mulching of Jackfruit Plants: To serve as mulch the weed slashings can be piled around the tree, they help in preventing weed germination and also it will conserve the moisture.
Intercropping: as there would be more space between each tree, annual or perennial crops can be intercropped. Crops like banana, citrus, peanut, pulses, vegetables, corn and pineapple can be intercropped with Jackfruit tree.
Pruning of Jackfruit Tree: The tree which is raised from seeds attains a good height and then those branches can be regulated by cutting them from the main truck about of 2-3 m from the ground. By doing this good light penetrates to the tree and also to the central parts of the tree that are enclosed inside the big branches.
Pest and diseases control measures in Jackfruit Cultivation:
These are the pest and diseases that affect the Jackfruit tree.
Pests and thier control:
- Brown weevil: brown weevil and other pests like jack scale and mealy bug attack trees of Jackfruit very frequently, so suitable insecticide should be sprayed on the trees.
- Shoot and trunk borer: To decrease the intensity of this pest, application of Sevin 50% @ 4 g per one litre of water is suggested.
Diseases and thier control:
- Pink diseases: By spraying Bordeaux mixture of copper sulphate 2. 75 kg + slaked lime + water 200 litres, the intensity of diseases will be decreased.
- Soft rot: At regular intervals of 21 days, Bordeaux mixture @ 0.4 % is sprayed for controlling the rot related diseases.
Harvesting techniques in Jackfruit Cultivation:
During spring and summer tender fruits are harvested to use the Jackfruit as a vegetable. The seeds are still hard when harvesting them. The complete maturity of Jackfruits is attained in the end of the summer i.e. in the month of June. During February and June the fruit is developed completely. Harvesting is completed by cutting off the stalks which carry the fruits.
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Post harvesting techniques in Jackfruit Cultivation:
- Cleaning: There is nothing to clean on the outer part, so while removing the bulbs, oil should be applied on hands while detaching them from the fruit. Manually these bulbs should be removed as they are the one which are consumed or edible.
- Sorting and Grading: They are sorted as per the size and shape before packing them. Grading is done as per the maturity, softness and firmness.
- Storage: Jackfruits do not need cold storage for storing them. They can be kept in normal temperature like 10.1˚C to 12.7˚C; at this temperature the storage life span of Jackfruit is 6 weeks. The humidity which should be maintained is 85% – 90%. Storage life also depends on the maturity factors.
- Packing: Jackfruits do not need packing or wrapping while sending them to market.
Yield in Jackfruit Cultivation:
The bearing of fruits starts when the trees are 7-8 years old after planting. Peak bearing is observed when the tree reaches 15 – 16 years after planting. The yield of this fruit won’t be the same every year; there will be a difference in the yield, which may increase or decrease from the previous year. Generally, the tree bears at least 250 fruits in a year and every fruit weighs individually up to 50 kg. Average yield of Jackfruits are 40 – 50 tonnes of fruits per hectare of land.