Oh yes – but how is this possible? This is because we have distributed Jackfruit seedlings to all our farmer groups for planting in their gardens.
Last year the farmer members of our groups planted almost 2000 fruit tree seedlings and this year just over 2500 seedlings. To our original species mix of grafted mango, papaya and pineapple we have added citrus with lemon and sweet orange, avocado and jackfruit. Citrus, as we all know, is high in vitamin C, and is also an important preserving alternative to vinegar. Avocado, as we all know, is highly nutritious containing many minerals and vitamins, and is also easily mashed for feeding to children and other vulnerable groups.
Jackfruit, though less well known, is universally used in tropical countries as a food staple supplement and maize alternative especially during periods of food scarcity and increased food insecurity. As part of the Breadfruit family, Jackfruit has the largest fruit and high carbohydrate content. The fruit when cooked, as its family name implies, has a bread-like texture and slightly sweet taste.
As maize rations from food distribution in the refugee camps continues to decrease even further, the growing of Jackfruit offers a food security safety net for maintenance of calorific intake for the refugees. Truly it can be said that by helping the refugees grow Jackfruit we are indeed growing ‘MAIZE ON TREES’!