How a start-up and a lively WhatsApp group emerged from the love of jackfruit

The unfiltered love of the delicious’ Chakkapazham‘ (Jackfruit) has assembled a team of potential entrepreneurs in Kerala to unlock the potential of this tropical fruit in the country.

They started a WhatsApp group Chakkakkoottam. for better use of jackfruit and avoidance of waste. The group includes photographers, food and marketing professionals, machine experts, etc.

They have set up a start-up Chakkakkoottam International Pvt Ltd which aims to ensure wider availability of jackfruit products and create employment opportunities.

monetize waste

It is estimated that Kerala produces 35 to 60 million jackfruits each year, of which less than 10 percent is converted into value-added products. “Although the Kerala government made jackfruit the official fruit in 2018, a third of the fruit went unused,” said Manu Chandran, CEO of Chakkakkootam International Pvt Ltd.

Besides Kerala, it is also grown in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Assam, Tripura, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Due to a lack of organized sourcing and processing facilities, much of the production is still wasted today.

Chakkakkoottam shares the details of jackfruit availability, holds meetings and also arranges visits to places where they are grown.

Varied products made

The company currently produces six varieties of ready-to-eat jackfruit products such as fried raw and ripe fruits, dried jackfruit, powdered jam and halvah.

Chandran said the fried products are air fried to avoid oil and ensure better health. He added that the company exhibited the products at the recently concluded Vyapar B2B meeting organized by the State Industry Department in Kochi.

When jackfruit lovers learned about the group, many from other states and abroad expressed interest in becoming part of the group. Initially there were about 100 members and now there are 1,000, he claimed.

Farmers are convinced of the fruit’s potential and are bringing it to the dinner table to promote a healthy eating culture.

“The focus will be on the domestic sector initially, and there are also plans to develop a web-based platform for online marketing,” added Chandran.

Published on

September 26, 2022

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