Kerala farmer's jackfruit helps Brazil's R-Day fest

Jackfruits at Ayurjack Farm in Thrissur, Kerala.

A jackfruit farmer at Thrissur in central Kerala received an unexpected call last week from the Embassy of Brazil in New Delhi seeking immediate supply of jackfruits.

Varghese Tharakan, who had already received much attention with his Ayurjack farm that offers jackfruits round the year, received the call. Jackfruits are an integral ingredient of Brazilian deserts.

The Embassy needed it to prepare a dessert to be served in a get together in connection with Brazil's Republic Day celebrations on November 19, said the Brazilian Embassy staff.

The next day, November 15, Tharakan received an email from the deputy chief of mission Breno Hermann making a formal request for the jackfruits.

"It was indeed a very happy moment for me. Over 60 kgs of jackfruit was dispatched immediately to the Embassy," said Tharakan, who only charged the dispatch cost.

An automobile diploma holder, Tharakan opted for a career in farming owing to his interest in the field. While normal jackfruit trees offer only one yield annually, Tharakan developed a new variety through budding, offering two yields in a year and named it Ayurjack.

He brought five acres of land at Veloor village, about 20 km from Thrissur town, in 2003 and started developing the jackfruit farm, which became full-fledged with water management plans a few years ago.

At present, there are over 1,000 jackfruit trees in the five-acre farm and about lakh saplings growing in various stages. Tharakan has received enquiries from various foreign institutions.

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