Jackfruit traders have done brisk business in various parts of the Chittoor and Nellore districts thanks to awareness of the health benefits of the high fiber fruit as people look for various alternatives to boost their immunity. Demand is mainly fueled by the low price of the fruit and its abundant supply, mainly from the Panrotti region in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu and Cochin in Kerala.
Given the lockdown / restrictions of COVID-19 across India, jackfruit farmers in TN and Kerala have been trying desperately to clear away the products themselves at throwaway prices. “This year the jackfruit plantations brought record harvests in both countries due to the favorable climatic conditions. However, there are not many buyers for the products. That’s when we came up with the idea of offering wholesaling directly to the public, and at half the price, ”explains Muthuvel (40), a jackfruit retailer from Vellore in Tamil Nadu who depends on his customers in the Chittoor district.
The jackfruit season is said to have peaked in the south and will continue for the next two months. The pandemic has imposed a health program on the public that will alert them to nutritional terminology such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins and so on. “The jackfruit is known for its high fiber content. The public shows interest in buying the fruit during the curfew. We sell directly at the street points, ”says a local dealer at Tirupati.
Much to the delight of shoppers, a 10kg jackfruit is now selling for 180-200 yen, up from the pre-COVID price of 500 yen.