Jackfruit (Artocarpus heteropyllus) under family Moraceae or locally known as NANGKA in Malaysia is a popular fruit tree grown as tropical fruit trees. It was grown in Malaysia as a commercial commodity or grown as mixed commodity with few other fruit types such as durian, rambutan, duku etc in traditional village. Department of Agriculture Malaysia recorded about 3,123 hectare of Jackfruit was grown as CHE in 2006 and increase the size to only 3,500 ha in 2009 with annual production for 27,830 metric tonnes. Jackfruit was popular in few states such as in Pahang State (Temerloh District about 207 ha) followed by Kota Tinggi in Johor (192 ha) and Segamat Johor (136 ha) in 2008 respectively. For 2010 it was estimated about 3,650 ha jackfruit planted with the estimated production 28,960 mt. This article explain jackfruit technology based from my field experience in agriculture sector for more than 30 years and reading from few books.
The jackfruit tree is a wood perennial crop with erected trunk up to 10-15 feet tall. The main trunk with branching system with dark green leaf. Most of the jackfruit in Malaysia produce the flower and fruit on the main trunk and main branch. The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy, fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber. The flavour is similar to a tart banana. Varieties of jackfruit are distinguished according to the characteristics of the fruits' flesh and their tree morphology. Most farmers prefer to select the new variety with less latex and big size of fruit.
Jackfruit is suitable to be grown with sandy loam soil and proper drainage system. Jackfruit tree cannot survive if the root system submerged for more than 4 hours under water. Department of Agriculture Malaysia (DOA) recommended the planting distance for jackfruit is 9 meter x 9 meter to provide 123 trees/ hectare. Vigorous seedling selected from germinated seeds or budded seedling or other method of seedling production. The seedling must free from unwanted disease and pests. Basic Agronomic Practices of jackfruit planting must be followed.
About more than 25 clone of jackfruit registered in Malaysia with DOA since 1960'es throughout the nation. There is six clones strongly recommended for Jackfruit planting in Malaysia is Clone Clone J29, Clone J 31, Clone Tekam Yellow, Clone Mantin and the latest clones was Clone J33 (Nangka Madu). Clone Uncle Hong, Crystal clone known as best clone in Johor but not registered with DOA. Clone J29 has a very big size up to 10 kg per fruit and their skin yellowish and reddish flesh with less sticky latex. For J31 clones it was smaller in size with an average about 6 kilogram per fruit and yellowish flesh with strong smell. J33 is the latest clones registered and has an export quality standard for fresh consumption.
Land preparation started with land clearing, ploughing, drainage system and preparation of basic infrastructure. Before planting basic manuring program with organic manure, Dolomite and Rock Phosphate applied in the planting hole. NPK 15:15:15 at applied each jackfruit tree annually 0.50 kg every 3 months for first year. Manuring program for jackfruit at vegetative and reproductive stage increases to 1 kg, 1.5 kg and up to 4 kg after 4 years with NPK 15:15:15 and 15:15:17:2 TE respectively. Organic manure applied every 6 months for about 20 kg. Some farmers apply foliar fertilizer to enhance the bearing fruit capacity and increase sweetness of the flesh.
Fruit borer (Bactocera spp) is the most scary pest in jackfruit plantation. The adult pest will inject their eggs to the young fruit and their larvae will cause damages to the fruits. Wrapping the fruit bunch is the most practical system to control the fruit borer from damaging.There is no chemical control recommended for this pests. Jackfruit also very susceptible to shoot rot (Mati rosot) that can cause total failure if not controlled from the beginning or early stage. Farm sanitation and removal of attacked branch is practical. Other related diseases was Wind Fungi ( Cendawan Angin) caused by Erytricum saimoncolor that spread by fungi through wind blow. Wild Boar able to damage lower jackfruit fruits in those farm nearby the jungle in many area in Johore.
The vegetative stage for Malaysian Jackfruit about 3-4 years and the trees last long for 6 - 10 year on reproductive stage. Jackfruit produce yield about 12 mt per hectare depend on Agriculture Practices. It is better the young fruit wrapped with suitable material such as gunni sack, used cloth, plastic etc to protect from fruit borers. Department of Agriculture Mersing Johor created an innovation called APC-2 an equipment to wrap jackfruit at higher level. Matured fruit collected from the farm and stored before grading and send to the buyers. Price perkilogram ex-farm in Muar about RM 2.50/kg. Analysis shown that growing jackfruit is profitable if the tree last for more than 8 - 10 years old.
(9 Zulhijjah 1432H)