Agartala: After pineapple and lemon, a trial consignment of the best summer fruit of Tripura jackfruit was exported to London in a virtual ceremony here today.
Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) through a Guwahati based exporter facilitated the procurement of full-grown jackfruit from Sepahijala district.
Agriculture Minister Pranajit Singharoy said that each jackfruit of 3-5 kilogram after due quality testing was plucked for exporting from a different village of Melaghar by a local Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO). The producers were paid Rs 30 for each jackfruit and the FPO facilitated the loading of consignment, which had been boarded in train to Guwahati.
According to the schedule, the exporter Kiega Exims Pvt Ltd would send them to Delhi via air cargo tomorrow and on the next day the consignment is scheduled to fly for London. Since jackfruit is a perishable item; the consignment has to be reached to the supplier at London in 4-6 days with proper cold chain management, said FPO officials here.
Singharoy stated that initially, there was a doubt of exporting the consignment abroad because of the Covid pandemic but the cloud clears, as air cargo from India has been allowed for farm products. The process of jackfruit exporting to UK began three years ago along with pineapple and lemon but it took a long time to ensure quality and timely dispatch.
“We are confident that a few more consignment of jackfruit this season will go abroad, APEDA is sincerely trying to help our farmers. Besides, pineapple and lemon are also expected to export this year too although there is lots of uncertainty due to Covid-19 second wave,” the minister indicated.
Tripura is the highest juicy jackfruit producer in the country and the best quality jackfruit becomes available only for a month between middle of May to the middle of June. However, the horticulture department of Tripura has been working on increasing the shell life of jackfruit through a natural process.
Tripura Jackfruit has been informally trading to Bangladesh for the last many decades through riverine routes, as it is considered a staple food having carbohydrate supplements. In Bangladesh Tripura jackfruits are sold at over a hundred rupees each but the producer here hardly gets a price. In the local market also, the best quality jackfruit sold at Rs 50-80.