Jackfruit Farming Profit, Expense and more
Jackfruit once considered the poor man’s fruit has made headlines time and again in today’s world. Apart from its own set of health benefits, the fact that it’s also one of the few fruits which use minimal to no pesticides and chemical fertilizers, making it organic by nature, want many people to try the fruit when it is in season. Jack fruit is the edible largest fruit known to man. They grow up to 50 KG and sometimes more. Smaller fruits weigh 8-10 KG easily.
Jackfruit is popular in southern and eastern India where it grows naturally. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gua, and Maharashtra in the south are known to grow Jackfruit in scattered pockets. Tamil Nadu is the only state in India which produces jackfruit as a mono-crop and commercially in India. The fruits are source from Panruti where its cultivated and distributed throughout the country. The market ranges from Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and more. Kerala is one of the largest consumers of jackfruits. Jackfruits are consumed as fresh fruit, Jams, chips, and even flour. All forms of jackfruits are popular in Kerala. That are cooked as a main meal and consumed as a snack.
Jackfruits are just as popular in the eastern states of India where its considered a staple. While the rest of the country snacks on jackfruit, Kerala and the eastern states of India consider jackfruit a staple. The fruits are the main meal in breakfast lunch and dinner when it’s in season. They are cooked raw and supposedly tastes like pulled pork!
For jackfruit farmers it’s important to understand what weather is suitable for jackfruit farming. The market is the second most important thing or equally important. JAckfruits are not the preferred fruit in most cities in Gujarat or Rajasthan. Though the bigger cities may have a moderate market, the smaller ones are not a big market. This is due to the lack of knowledge of its benefits and the hassle of cleaning the fruit itself. Jackfruits have a sticky glue that comes out when it is cut. The latex of the fruit, though not toxic to touch, is extremely annoying and could stick to anything it touches. This is not appealing and is hard to clean. Once cleaned though, the fruit is excellent and has a fruity aroma. Some consider the smell of a jackfruit pungent or too strong. For most people, it is just fruity. The taste is sweet and kids usually like the fruit. The seed is considered rich in nutrients and is roasted. it has a nutty flavor and is a good snack.
Facts about Jackfruit for the farmer
- Cultivated in the tropics with rainfed irrigation: Jackfruit grows best in tropical weather. They require a dry spell during the flowering season and scattered rains throughout the year. The best places to grow jackfruit naturally is in Kerala and the easter part of India and goa. Other states have pockets where jackfruits can be grown naturally but most places will require irrigation for the tree.
- Easy to cultivate, harvest and market: The jackfruit has a moderate market. Being a fruit that has very low production, the market is quite steady but low. Don’t expect to cultivate 20 tonnes of jackfruit and sell them overnight in many parts of the country. The consumption of jackfruit is moderate.
- Easy to cultivate: The fruit requires minimal care. Apart from getting the plant to set root and establish itself, the remaining process is almost always on autopilot. Minimal irrigation and usually only rainfed, no pests or diseases which are major and minimal to no weeding. Everything a farmer can ask for.
- Every part of a jackfruit and its tree is useful. The fruits are consumed fresh or processed, the seeds are nutritious and is cooked or roasted. The tree itself is excellent for timber.
Economics of Jackfruit farming.
Jackfruit when sold costs 10 Rs per KG to the farmer. An average fruit is 10 Kilo if the maintenance and thinning is practiced. A tree , which is fully mature provides approximately 50 good fruits. Though there are trees which can produce up to 500 fruits, these fruits are usually medium sized and do not attain a weight of 10 KG or more. When thinning is practiced, the tree is allowed only up to 50 fruits per tree every season. With 40 trees per acre, the total yield is 2000 fruits per acre. Assuming that the fruits are all 10 kg , the average yield of 20 tonnes is modest. Farmers are known to cultivate up to 32 tonens and some more but even with the least yield per acre, you can assume that the farmer will get 2,00,000 rupees per year from an acre of jackfruit plantation.
There are some caveats to jackfruit plantation.
- Plants from seedlings take more time to mature and production of fruits are seen only after 7-8 years. Grafted plants yield fruits in less than 5 years and some varieties are known to start fruiting in 3 years. Choosing the right variety of jackfruit is key
- Seedlings are not true to fruit. You may plant a seed and hope that you get a jackfruit and that you will. Unfortunately, the fruit may be completely different from the fruit you ate.
- Cultivation of jackfruits need time. 5 years is a minimum time you should go with. Remember tha there is no profit for these 5 years and some maintenance is mandatory.
But even considering all these problems, there seems to be a good profit from the time the tre becomes mature completely.
Expenses & Profit from Jackfruit farming
|Saplings and Plants||5000|
|Manure and Fertilizers||20,000|
|Labor (planting Pit preparation etc)||25000|
The above costs include all cost for 5 years. The manure and fertilizers are distributed for 5 years and are minimal. Most fertilizers are organic and very less inorganic fertilizers are used. Pesticides are usually not sprayed at all except when the fruits are nearly ready.
Yield per acre and profit from one acre of Jackfruit farming
|Total Yield per acre||20,000 KG|
|Average price per KG||Rs. 10|
|Profit after expense (5th year)||Rs 59,500|
|Profit after expense (6th Year onwards)||Rs. 1,54,000|
Though the profits from Jackfruit farming is not exorbitant, the potential is high. Please note that the expenses are inflated and the profits are set to minimal. Average of 30 tonnes can be attained in one acre of jackfruit cultivation which automatically increases the revenue to near 3 Lakhs per year. The expense after the first year is very low.