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How Qatar FIFA World Cup changed life of this Kerala jackfruit farmer

Varghese Tharakan at his jackfruit farm in Thrissur.

He is a renowned jackfruit farmer of Kerala who has scientifically proved that jackfruit can be grown round the year and a jackfruit plantation can yield good profits better than a rubber plantation. Though Varghese Tharakan has been selling jackfruits produced in his 13.5 acres of Ayurjack farm at Kurumal Kunnu in Thrissur for the last few years, an order for jackfruits for Qatar FIFA World Cup has now brought him more business and he has now become one of the largest exporters of jackfruits in the country.

Little did he know that an order for jackfruits from the organisers of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar would change his jackfruit farming business. A single order to supply jackfruits for the football world cup made his farm famous world over.

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 “I am now getting bulk export orders from different countries. The orders are all for jackfruits cultivated in the same farm. I am really happy that the world has realised the medicinal properties of jackfruit,” said this 49-year-old farmer. It was a phone call during the initial days of Qatar World Cup that threw open a world of opportunities for Varghese Tharakan.

“I received a phone call from the world cup organisers asking me whether I could provide 1500 kg of jackfruit cultivated in a single farm. I readily agreed as my farm was ready for harvest. They wanted the jack fruits as the dietician and the medical experts prescribed jackfruit as a major food in the diet chart for the players,” he said. Ever since, the Qatar football world cup, Varghese Tharakan’s Ayur Jack farm has been getting orders from buyers in Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, France, UK and other countries.

Also, the visitors to his farm, where Varghese Tharakan has installed a unique water replenishing and water conservation system, have increased manifold in the last few months. “Each visitor is welcomed with a slice of sweet jackfruit to relish. I also explain the farming method to everyone in detail,” said Varghese Tharakan who seriously took up jackfruit farming from 2003. His water conservation system is a study topic in IITs in the country and many researchers frequent the farm to get a first hand knowledge of his best organic farming techniques that have won him several laurels.

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