Farmers First Trust, based in Puttur, Dakshina Kannada, is an organisation formed by practising farmers, and has been working for the cause of the farming community for the last 3 decades. One of its major contribution to the farmers and journalism as such is the publication of Adike Patrike, a unique farm magazine. The magazine is popular not just in Karnataka and Kasaragod, the bordering district of Kerala, but also has a sizeable readership abroad, thanks to the Internet. The genesis of the magazine in throws some light on its name. The s witnessed a crash in areca nut prices. One of them was to bring out a bulletin called areca news.
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Living continents apart, Miriam Martinez Joya and Shyamanna have little in common but their deep and abiding love for the humble jackfruit. Joya, a California-based entrepreneur, drives her jackfruit truck selling value-added jackfruit products every day, while Shyamanna, a practicing doctor, steals time away from his patients to care for the thousands of jackfruit trees growing in his orchard in Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
Padre is the founding editor of Areca News — later re-branded as Adike Patrike or the Areca nut magazine — a Kannada publication aimed at educating farmers. Though the magazine once primarily focused on areca nut farming, it came as no surprise to anyone who knew Padre, when Adike Patrike began to publish stories on jackfruit from — the year Padre took it upon himself to bring the fruit back into the limelight. In the past decade under Padre, Adike Patrike has published 28 cover stories on jackfruit — 14 of which were special issues.
The articles spoke of the success of jackfruit farmers in India and abroad, entrepreneurs who set up factories for value addition to jackfruit, unique events for promoting the fruit, restaurants that serve unique jackfruit dishes as well as the health benefits of the fruit. It began when Padre realised that Kerala, the largest jackfruit producer in India, also wasted colossal amounts of the fruit every year. Kerala has a deep connection with the biggest tree-borne fruit in the world, which dates back hundreds of years.
When the Portuguese arrived in India, they named this fruit Jaca, slightly modifying its original Malayalam name, Chakka. Later, the British amended this further and the modern-day jackfruit received its name.
Even today, jackfruit or chakka is an integral part of several Kerala dishes, including the popular Chakka Thoran, a coconut-based fry and Chakka Puzhukku or boiled jackfruit.
While the fruit is rich in Vitamins B-Complex and C, as well as minerals, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, niacin and sulphur, most people prefer not to cook it because of the tremendous effort required to pluck, cut, and cook the fruit. As a result, it is common to be greeted with the sight and somewhat cloying scent of thousands of ripe jackfruits decaying on the ground in Kerala.
In the northern parts of the country, tender jackfruit is eaten mainly as a vegetable. Padre says the city of Nagpur consumes one truck load of tender jackfruit every day. Jackfruit dishes are a must at big fat North Indian weddings these days. Frustrated, Padre was desperately looking for a solution to check the colossal wastage of jackfruit in his home town of Swarga, when he found a small advertisement in a Kannada newspaper in We made it a cover story.
There was no looking back since then. The search for still better ways to utilise the jackfruit ultimately took the editor and his team to various places in India and abroad. His travels convinced him that the absence of a supply chain and processing facilities in the country were the biggest problems faced by jackfruit growers. Shortage of labour in villages compounded their woes, as there was no one to pluck the fruit, de-seed it and collect the flakes.
When he could not travel, the inquisitive farmer-journalist forged ties with farmers and entrepreneurs in various parts of the world who helped him understand the status of jackfruit everywhere through email and WhatsApp. Padre feels that ignorance has caused people to underestimate his favourite fruit and tree. In addition to shade, Padre said a jackfruit tree keeps the microclimate cool.
Its dry leaves can be used to cover vegetable and flower plants, while green leaves and roots are used as medicines. As the tree grows bigger over the years, there is a huge demand for its timber. However, people these days are ignoring the tree and fruit.
At present, Padre is the administrator of two groups on email and WhatsApp, on which over members discuss the issues faced by jackfruit growers everywhere.
Although Adike Patrike is published in Kannada, Padre sends images of each story the magazine carries with English captions, to his worldwide jackfruit-fan club through email and WhatsApp. Shree Padre, Wikimedia Commons Living continents apart, Miriam Martinez Joya and Shyamanna have little in common but their deep and abiding love for the humble jackfruit.
A special jackfruit issue of 'Adike Patrike'. Photo courtesy: Adike Patrike Jack of all trades In the past decade under Padre, Adike Patrike has published 28 cover stories on jackfruit — 14 of which were special issues. Shree Padre. Photo courtesy: Adike Patrike While the fruit is rich in Vitamins B-Complex and C, as well as minerals, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, niacin and sulphur, most people prefer not to cook it because of the tremendous effort required to pluck, cut, and cook the fruit.
Photo courtesy: Adike Patrike Chakka Puzhukku, a jackfruit dish. Photo courtesy: Adike Patrike Jackfruit curry. Photo Courtesy: Shree Padre.
By putting pens and paper in the hands of Indian farmers, Shree Krishna Padre is building a field of grassroots agricultural journalism that puts farming information into the language of farmers. Skip to main content. Ashoka Fellows. This Entry has been submitted. Project Stage: Scaling.
Meet the Kerala journalist leading a global campaign to put jackfruit on our dinner tables