Production and utilization of jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) in Uganda
Jackfruit originated from East Asia, known to be the largest tree born fruit weighs up to 30kg and yields 50-80 tons per hectare annually. The fruit has large potential in Uganda and has been used in value added products on a small and rudimentary scale. This work assessed the production and utilization patterns of jackfruit with a view of determining its capacity to sustain industrial scale processing. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in jackfruit producing regions from April to June 2016. The study variables were household farm size, number of jackfruit trees, types, utilization methods and constraints associated with jackfruit production. A purposive sampling design was used to select districts, sub-counties, parishes and villages to participate in the survey. A total of 400 household heads from the study area were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire. Responses and observations were recorded; secondary data was also reviewed for information on the total number of households in a district. The results showed that 32% of the respondents worked on 1-2 acres of farmland on which they have at least 2-7 jackfruit trees. About 57% of jackfruit trees were planted while the remaining 43% were inherited. The study area was estimated to have about 1.7 million fruiting jackfruit trees with the number of fruits per tree varying between 20-120 fruits and weighing11 kg, on average. Jackfruit harvest season in Uganda has two peaks in March to April and November to December, with the latter season yielding more fruit. Jackfruit is categorized into white, orange and yellow types based on the pulp color, hard or soft according to pulp texture. About 78% of households produced jack fruit mainly for home consumption, 16% of the households sold the fruit, and 6% fed it to animals while 1% of the household processed them into dried chips or jackfruit wine. The estimated jackfruit production per district in the study area was 0.3 million metric tons/annum. Although the study area has a potential of producing jackfruit for industrial processing, there is need to grow more jackfruit in an organized manner to meet the increasing and competing demands for both home consumption and industrial processing.
Keywords: Jackfruit Artocarpus heterophyllus, production, categorization, utilization, household, consumption, flakes