World's Sweetest Jackfruit Just Got Sweeter
Agriculture|October 2017

BAYBAY, LEYTE—It all started with a conversation.

P. J. Restituto

A farmer, with 8 hectares planted to jackfruit, was complaining to Dr. Jose Bacusmo—then president of the Visayas State University (VSU)—that there was no market for an abundant harvest.

Jackfruit is the banner crop of Eastern Visayas.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) was promoting jackfruit while VSU had abaca as a flagship commodity. “We thought perhaps we could do something about it,” Dr. Bacusmo recalled, adding that the research and development (R&D) seed for jackfruit was soon planted. “The hardest part is backward integration, finding enough supply. R&D was relatively easy. Because there was little demand, we thought the supply was allyear round. It became apparent [it was] seasonal.”

The seasonality and the right variety were crucial, he told Agriculture Magazine. Farmers had to wait for the National Seed Industry Council to approve the commercial planting of the EVIARC Sweet No. 1 variety. EVIARC stands for the Eastern Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center which, together with VSU scientists, led jackfruit R&D supported by the DA and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

A SWEET CROP

EVIARC Sweet No. 1, which fruits in three years, is claimed to be the world’s sweetest jackfruit, based on a rating of 25.15 degrees Brix, the international standard for the sugar content of a solution dissolved in water—in this case the dissolved sugar content of jackfruit.

It is considered appropriate for addressing the high demand for processed jackfruit because of its distinct sweetness, moderate latex, and thick, highly edible meat that forms almost half (44.58 percent) of the fruit.

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