Sunday, August 14, 2011
Jackfruit is suitable for Leyte and Samar islands
Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is now an important crop in Leyte and Samar islands or Eastern Visayas (Region 8) in the Philippines. In fact, the Department of Agriculture (Region 8) and the Visayas Consortium for Agriculture and Resources Program (ViCARP) based at VSU have made it a priority crop for the region. Consequently, more studies are now being conducted by research centers and universities to improve jackfruit productivity and to develop jackfruit-based food products.
A research funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (Manila) from 2000 to 2003 titled "Characterizing biophysical environments for research prioritization and agricultural production in Region 8 (VB Asio, BB Dargantes, PP Garcia, K Israel)" produced the first solid scientific evidence that jackfruit is generally suitable for the region based on climate, geology, topography, land use, and soil factors. Among the significant outputs of this research were the suitability maps developed using GIS for jackfruit, rambutan, mango, abaca, coconut, sweetpotato and cassava which were distributed to all government agencies in the region starting 2004.
The suitability maps and other highlights of the research were also presented during the First Regional Fruit Congress in Tacloban City in 2003 which was attended by researchers, agricultural technicians, farmers, and policymakers. It was agreed at this congress to give priority to jackfruit and not mango which was found generally unsuitable for most parts of the region (except the northwestern side of Leyte whose climatic, geologic and soil characteristics are closely similar to those of the nearby Cebu island).
(The land suitability map for jackfruit shown was the first draft version we developed in 2002. Photo of jackfruit tree was taken from www.backpackingmalaysia.com)
Asio VB, BB Dargantes, PP Garcia and K Israel. 2004. Characterizing biophysical environments for research prioritization and agricultural production in Region 8 (Leyte-Samar). Terminal Report, LSU-DA-BAR GIS Project.