Thiruvananthapuram: After the state animal, bird, flower and fish, Kerala is all set to get its “official fruit” now. And it is none other than the jackfruit, the largest tree borne fruit known for its distinctive taste and aroma.
The Kerala government will make an official declaration in this regard on March 21, based on a proposal of the agriculture department. The government also plans to promote the ‘Kerala jackfruit’ as a brand in markets across the country and abroad, highlighting its organic and nutritious qualities.
State agriculture minister V S Sunil Kumar said the core objective of the government was to give a fillip to the production and sale of jackfruit and its value-added products.
A total revenue of Rs 15,000 crore is expected through sale of jackfruit and its allied products through the branding of the fruit, he said.
“We are planning to declare the jackfruit the state fruit on March 21. I will make an announcement in this regard at the Kerala assembly also,” Sunil Kumar said.
“Though jackfruit is one of the most widely produced fruits in the state, we are yet to tap its potential completely. Crores of jackfruits, that also of different varieties, are produced in Kerala every year,” he said.
Detailing the qualities of the ‘Kerala jackfruit’, he said it is more organic and tastier as it is produced in a natural way without using any chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
“Our people do not use any fertiliser for production of jackfruits. They are grown in a very natural way in villages without any special care. So our jackfruits are more organic, natural and tastier than those from other states,” he said.
Elephant is the state animal of Kerala, while ‘great hornbill’ the bird and ‘kanikkonna’ the official flower.
The state had recently declared pearl spot, popularly known as ‘karimeen’, as its official fish.