Brahmavar, June 02, 2016: A state-level Halasu Mela (Jackfruit festival) organised by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station, Brahmavar, was indeed a mass crowd puller with varieties of jackfruits displayed creatively and lucratively all around. Twenty-five stalls were set up. The smell and aroma of the jackfruits spread in and around the venue grabbed the attention of the passersby.
The neatly arranged delicacies and fresh fruits in the stalls mesmerised the visitors. The new items which one can never imagine to be prepared from the jack fruit pods and seeds were absolutely delicious and enjoyed by many the visitors.
Not less than 10 varieties of jackfruits were on display at the festival. Mouth watering delicacies like ’happala’, ’pickle’, ’vada’, ’halwa’, ’varieties of fruit chips’, ’sheera’, ’payasam’, ’podi, ’mambala’. ’jackfruit seeds chips’, ’jamun’ and ’sandige’ were among the delicacies on display and sale. At least a hundred varieties of snacks were available.
The major attraction was gumless jackfruit. Shyamprasad from Annapoorna Plantteck from Cherkadi said that there is a huge demand for the gumless jackfruit which can be easily cleaned. It is tasty and does not lose protein contents. The fruit is rich in fibre and a good digestive. He said people come in large numbers to the nursery to buy the sapling.
One person from Sirsi said he is into the business since 13 years. "I never miss any fruit festival. People come in large numbers to purchase the food items prepared from jackfruit," he added.
From Doddaballapur a grower has brought Chandra Halsu for sale, said the fruit is as sweet as honey and is most sought out fruit. He manages his livelihood from the jackfruit sale. He travels all over Karnataka. The other varieties he has are ’shivaratri’, ’kobbari’, ’rudrakshi’ and ’ekadashi’. All these varieties are sweet. He added that he is not yet into the preparation of delicacies from the fruit.
A lady home-maker, said she waits for the jackfruit festival as she gets an opportunity to taste and learn many delicacies of the fruit. She added that it is totally a new experience every time.
A video film on jack fruit was screened on the occasion. Seminars on topics like value addition and marketing of the jackfruit delicacies and formation of associations, various techniques involved in the cultivation of the jackfruit, specialties in jackfruit crop and opportunities for farmers by Adike Patrike editor Sri Padre, value addition to jackfruit by Shivanna from Parivartana Samsthe, Kadur, preparation of various jackfruit delicacies by Horticulture College, Sirsi, Assistant Professor Chandan K, marketing of jackfruit by Halasu Belegarara Sangha, Doddabalapur, president Ravikumar marked the Halasu Mela (Jackfruit festival).