Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma launches draft policy on Jackfruit Mission

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on 6th July 2018 released the draft Mission Jackfruit document at the Jackfruit Festival 2018 held at the All Saints Hall, Shillong in the presence of State Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh.

The one – day jackfruit festival, which featured display and sale of various value – added jackfruit items, was organised by the Directorate of Horticulture with the theme – “The Humble Jack – with a large heart”.

Mission Jackfruit is a five year mission which aims to generate employment opportunities for over 80, 000 farmer entrepreneurs. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister focused on the need to expand the market of the nutritious fruit. He said the Jackfruit Mission is one of the flagship programmes of the Government that would encourage entrepreneurial activities and would help the farmers of the State to generate additional income from the fruit, which is grown by almost every rural household across the state.

The Chief Minister also stressed on the need to create the right policy and right system to yield better results which will change the entire dynamics of the sector.

The Chief Minister also informed that the Cabinet has passed a resolution to create a new Directorate of Food Processing to facilitate promotion of processed agriculture and horticulture products. He said that the directorate will facilitate agri-preneurs who are keen to venture into the field of food processing.

Meanwhile, Sangma has written to the Union Minister for Agriculture to consider the possibility of establishing a National Research Centre on Jackfruit at Tura. Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh said that jackfruit has a huge potential and government would tap the opportunity to improve and maybe double the income of the farming community and the rural farmers. Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner Shri K.N. Kumar said that the festival would generate curiosity and awareness of the tremendous nutritional and economic potential of the fruit and tree in the urban areas of the state. He said that roughly 75 per cent of ripe jackfruit in the State is wasted every year and through the mission the government would be able to address this wastage by tapping the economic potential of jackfruit.

Kumar, under whose supervision the mission is launched, estimated that there are atleast one million jackfruit trees in the state. Through the mission the Government will make an investment of about 80 crores over a 5 year period of which 50 crores will be central share and rest would be borne by the State Government.