Agartala: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appreciation for the jackfruit export initiative of Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) from Tripura has made the farmers happy.
While addressing Man-Ki-Baat, PM Modi on Sunday referred to the success of Tripura farmers in exporting jackfruit last week to the UK. Anticipating the demand for Tripura jackfruits in the country and abroad, with the help of APEDA, the best quality jackfruit was brought to Guwahati by train and then sent to London by air cargo via Delhi, he said.
Happy with the applause from Prime Minister Samir Debbarma, a jackfruit producer of Melaghar said, “We are poor people doing cultivation of various agriculture and horticulture items – not much involved in politics. But we do vote in the elections to a party. When PM Modi told the story of our jackfruit to 130 crore Indians, I feel we are honored and encouraged to do farming and produce export quality items more to bring laurels for our country.”
Echoing the sentiment, Agriculture Minister Pranajit Singharoy said with the help of APEDA maiden consignment of the best summer fruit of Tripura – jackfruit exported to London after exporting pineapple and lemon to the Middle East and the UK for last three years and said, “The PM’s words have made us happy that our farmers are doing well and as government we are supporting them in the line of Modiji’s vision.”
He said a Guwahati based exporter facilitated the procurement of 350 full-grown jackfruits from Sepahijala district. After due quality testing, jackfruit weighing 3-5 kilogram each was plucked for export from a different village of Melaghar by a local Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO). The producers were paid Rs 30 for each jackfruit.
“We are confident that 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 the 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 natural processes.
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.