A Correspondent

KALPETTA: The Wayanad Social Service Society (WSSS), a non- governmental organisation (NGO), has initiated steps to export processed organic jackfruit to the United States.

P.A. Jose, organic programme coordinator, of the WSSS said about 120 tonnes of ripe jackfruit would be procured from different parts of the district during the season and exported to the U.S. after processing it at a plant at Trichy in Tamil Nadu.

“There are 566 certified organic farmers under the organisation and we have been procuring ripe jackfruit from them as well as the other certified organic farmers at Rs.2.50 a kg,” Mr. Jose said.

The farmers will get Rs.25 to 40 for an average fruit and many of the farmers get Rs.1,000 from a jackfruit tree, he added.

“We are getting Rs.5 a kg of jackfruit but we have to spend Rs.2.50 for transport and other expenses. If the government takes steps to set up a jackfruit processing centre in the district, the farmers will get a better price for their produce,” he said.

“We got bulk enquiries for tinned jackfruit from Austria and Germany this year but the availability of organic jackfruit is comparatively less in the district and, hence, we could not accept those orders,” Fr. John Choorapuzhayil, Director, WSSS said.

There is immense potential to set up an agro processing centre in the district to make value-added products from jackfruit in the public or private sector, sources said.