KARLO Jackfruit Production Guide

KARLO Jackfruit Production Guide

Jackfruit scientifically known as Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam., ‘Fenesi’ in Swahili is a favorite dessert of Western Kenya in particular Busia County and Coastal region, Kwale County.

It is one of the most widely grown fruit crop. The total area under jackfruit in Kenya was about 250 hectares in 2019 (personal communication KALRO). About 65% of the jackfruit in Kenya is found in Busia County. Other important counties producing jackfruit are Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga and Nyanza (Siaya, Kisumu, Homa bay, Coastal (Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu and Taita Taveta), Central (Muranga and Kirinyaga) and Eastern (Tharaka Nithi and Meru) Counties. In 2020, this fruit was characterized as a “super fruit” in India. Jackfruit produces the largest edible fruit that weighs as high as 50kg.

Uses of Jackfruit
More farmers are becoming aware of the versatility of jackfruit and are exploring other uses for this tree. Aside from food, the jackfruit is also used for commercial and noncommercial purposes. The fruit, trunk, leaves, and roots can be can be processed into many diverse products. Many people believe that leaves of jackfruit can cure skin diseases, the bark is utilized to make ropes and clothes and the wood used to make guitars and
ukuleles. The trunk can also be used as lumber and is considered a good input for construction. The leaves can be used as, fodder for animals, and are good for making compost for soil amendments. The latex can be used as paste or glue, seeds are roasted and eaten as snacks, ground as animal feed and roots used as handles for farm implements.

Suitable Area to Grow Jackfruit
Jackfruit grows best in deep, sandy loam to clay loam soils of medium fertility with good drainage. Fertility of the soils of medium fertility with good drainage Fertility of the soil should be considered because of the rapid exhaustion of soil nutrients taken by the plants. The ideal pH of the soil for jackfruit ranges from 5 to 6.5

Types of Jackfruit

Several types of jackfruit are grown in the Kenya, however, the most important are orange, white and yellow flesh. • Orange variety has thick flesh, small seed, and good eating quality • Yellow variety has thinner flesh, a stronger aroma, and sweeter taste

Jackfruit is usually propagated by seeds or by asexual propagation. Farmers who propagate by seeds should select healthy, vigorous, and disease-free seeds from productive mother trees. Asexual propagation can be done by cuttings or grafting. Among the grafting methods, cleft grafting appears to be the most effective as it is able to counter the devastating effects of a typhoon which usually destroys tall trees. A cleft grafted tree is high in genetic quality, grows short but strong in stature. Its branches tend to spread side-wards.

Plant seeds in seed boxes or into potting bags. Clear and clean the field at least one year before transplanting seedlings to a permanent site. A few weeks before planting, dig holes about 60cm to 80 cm in diameter and 40cm to 50cm deep. When planting, fill holes with fertile surface soil and farm yard manure. Use the sub-soil to make a basin for water harvesting.

Before transplanting, prune-two-thirds of the leaves of the seedlings. Cut leafy branches to prevent excessive
moisture loss and take special care when transplanting because the jackfruit has a delicate root system. Also, planting distance should be no less than 10 to 12 meters (m) between trees (10mx12m). Remove all weeds within a radius of one meter around the tree. Prune trees regularly to remove unnecessary
twigs and branches.

Fertilization and Irrigation
Growing seedlings need ample nitrogen fertilizer while bearing trees need regular applications of phosphorous and potash.
A consistent, well-balanced manorial programme is important so as to stimulate rapid growth in young trees and to ensure maximum yield when the plants come into bearing. As nitrogen, phosphate and potash play a vital role in the plant metabolism, and markedly affect fruit production, a balanced supply of these nutrients in the fertilizer mixture must be applied to the plant.

Without soil analysis
– Apply farmyard manure or compost at the rate of 3kgs per plant or 2 metric tons per hectare
– One month after planting, apply 100- 150g ammonium sulfate per tree
After six months, apply an equal amount of 100-150g ammonium sulfate and towards the end of the rainy season

– When trees start bearing fruits and during the start of the rainy season, apply ½kg-2kg complete fertilizer and 200g-300g Muriate or potash (0-0-60) per tree. Every six months thereafter, apply complete fertilizer at the rate of 1 ½kg-3kg per tree.

Periodic ring weeding of the basin (the width of the canopy) should be conducted every three (3) months.
– Two years after field transplanting, prune the trees by cutting the top of the main stem leaving 2-3 meters
above the ground to regulate the height. – Pruning also consists of removing small unproductive branches as well as diseased and insect-damaged ones. – Since fruits are usually produced on the trunk and large ranches, the removal of unwanted branches would give more light to the developing fruits. A uniform system of pruning is followed, that is, by pruning the main trunk well above the bud union to induce the production of multiple branches close to the ground. Allow four or main branches to grow to carry the fruits, instead of distributing the heavy fruits on the main trunk and the smaller over to the side branches. This, system also opens the center of the tree for better light penetration and air movement.

Pest and Diseases
Fruit fly – Like most fruit trees, jackfruit is vulnerable to fruit fly infestation, a most destructive pest. The fruit fly lays its eggs under the skin of the fruit and which hatch in 5-6 days. The larvae work their way into the fruit ventually causing rot and making it unfit for market. The larva comes out of the fruit and falls to the ground to pupate in the soil. An adult lays about 100 eggs in one oviposition

Control – Wrap fruits with empty cement bags or jute sacks. Use a pheromone trap to attract the fruit flies
Twig borer – Borers attack the twigs and cause the affected twigs to dry up. An adult borer is slight gray in color and about 2 cm long.

Control – Cut off all affected shoots and twigs and destroy them by burning before spraying the tree with the recommended insecticides with long residual effects. Spraying showed be done twice a month depending on the degree of infestation.
Bark borer
To control – This pest removes the dead branches where it lays its eggs. Spray the recommended pesticides and bum affected twigs and dead branches. Bread mold of jackfruit – Jackfruit is also attacked by bread mold a fungal pathogen, especially during the rainy season. This leads to soft rot and loss of many young fruit that drop of the tree. To prevent its spread, spray plants with sulphur fungicide at least twice a month during rainy season. Always prune and burn severely affected branches.

Jackfruit bears fruit at three years old. About 10 fruits can be harvested the first time the tree begins to bear. The average tree will optimally bear between 100 to 200 fruits per year. The average fruit weight of these fruit is about 5.72 kg in Busia County. Consider that 50 plants are planted in an acre, thus 800 fruits will be
produced by the 5th year. If the market price of a fruit is KES 300, then the average value obtained from one acre in the 5th year is KES 240,000.

The following are indicators of fruit ripeness:
– When the last leaf on the stalk turns yellow
– The fruit produces dull, hollow sounds when tapped
– Its well-developed and widely spaced spines yield to moderate pressure
The time to harvest depends on how the fruit is to be Jackfruit used. If it is for home consumption, pick fruit when the rind is soft, emitting an aromatic odor, and when the leaf nearest the stalk turns yellow. At this stage, the flesh of the fruit is yelloworange, shiny and juicy. If you plan to sell the fruit, pick it when mature but still firm and without aroma. At this stage, the flesh is pale-yellow and crisp.

Take extra care not to damage the fruit. When you cut the penduncle of the fruit with a sharp knife or sickle, be sure another person wearing hand gloves to protect his hands from spines will assist. When harvesting from tall trees, place the fruit in a sack to prevent it from falling to the ground. Tie a rope to the stalk, snap the fruit from the tree, and slowly lower the bundle to the ground.

Harvesting should be done at mid – morning to late afternoon to reduced latex flow because, at this time of the day, latex cells are less turgid. This would minimize latex stains which give the fruit an unsightly appearance. Remove the retained peduncle and unwanted water sprouts from the trunk after picking the fruit.

When handling the fruit, lay it against a railing with its stalk down to let the latex flow and coagulate. It is best to transport the fruits in single layers. Always put dried banana leaves between fruits and spread some on the container to prevent the fruits from getting bruises or scars. Never insert a pointer stick into the fruit’s stem. Many people in the rural areas believe this technique hastens ripening but this has no basis.

A cut on the stem only serves as an entry point for decay-producing organisms. The fruit usually weighs from 3-5 to 50kg. The fruit is graded according to size:

– Large – at least 20kg – Medium – at least 15kg – Small – at least 8kg Another way of grading jackfruit is the condition of fruit: – Grade No. 1 – fruit is fairly well-formed, free from damage by discoloration or scars, cuts, skin breaks, diseases, and insects – Grade No. 2 – fruit has no specific shape, though free from cuts, skin breaks, insects, and diseases

Post-harvest operations
– Remove immature, over-ripe, damaged and misshapen fruits
– Grade the remaining fruits according to size as follows
– Large: weighing 16 kg and above
– Medium: weighing 8 kg to 16 kg
– Wash fruits using chlorinated water (100
ppm) to remove dirt, latex stains and any
field contamination
– Drain fruits properly to remove excess moisture from the surface of the fruit
for further processing or storing.

Packaging and storage of fresh fruits
– Graded and washed fruits are packed into plastic containers or bamboo baskets for storage.
– Freshly harvested ripe fruits can be stored for 4 to 5 days at 25-35ºC.
– Fruits can be kept for 2 to 6 weeks at 11- 13ºC and relative humidity of 85-95%, depending on cultivar and maturity stage.

Pre-processing into pulp
– Crush de-seeded (see picture above) jackfruit bulbs using a blender
– Add 40-45 g of powdered sugar to every 100 g of smashed pulp and mix

– Dry mixture in a hot air drier at 80-85ºC until moisture content reaches 20-22%
– Place pulp in plastic containers and seal
– Freeze pulp and store for further processing
Packaging and storage of pulp
-Pre-processed pulp is packed in polythene bags or in plastic containers. It
can be kept for more than one year when stored at -20 – -22ºC. – Jackfruits stored at temperatures
below 12ºC before transfer to higher temperatures show injury due to chilling. This includes dark-brown discoloration of the skin, pulp browning, a deterioration in flavour and increased susceptibility to decay.

Prior to processing, jackfruits should be ripened fully to achieve optimum aroma, sweetness, taste, eating quality and reduce the latex.

Pre-processing into fruitlets
– Cut fruits in half lengthwise. Latex may exude from the cut surfaces when extracting the flesh.
– Coat hands, knives and work surfaces with vegetable oil to make clean-up easier.
– Carve out the sticky central core.
– Scoop out the individual fruitlets (bulbs).
– Sort bulbs according to the required size, maturity and colour. Only full bulbs, (not half or partly cut) are recommended for retailing.
– Cut the end of the bulbs to remove the seeds according to consumers’ preference.
– Pack fruitlets for storage for direct consumption.
Packaging and storage of jackfruit fruitlets
– Jackfruit fruitlets are packed in polythene bags which are heat-sealed or in polypropylene containers with lids.
They can be kept at 2ºC for 3 weeks.
– Maintain the chilled temperature of 2ºC throughout the distribution process to avoid deterioration.

Pre-processing into pulp
– Crush de-seeded (see picture above) jackfruit bulbs using a blender
– Add 40-45 g of powdered sugar to every 100 g of smashed pulp and mix
Thoroughly – Dry mixture in a hot air drier at 80-85ºC until moisture content reaches 20-22%
– Place pulp in plastic containers and seal – Freeze pulp and store for further processing.

Packaging and storage of pulp
-Pre-processed pulp is packed in polythene bags or in plastic containers. It can be kept for more than one year when stored at -20 – -22ºC.

Article by: Vincent Ochieng, Lusike Wasilwa, Francis Wayua, Samuel Khavi, Robert Tabu and Harun Odhiambo

Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus ( )
× Whatsapp us