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Jack and Agroforestry

Authors:
  • College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University

Abstract and Figures

Jackfruit, though takes its origin to the Indo – Malayan regions, emerged over time as one of the most widely distributed tree species in the tropics. Jackfruit enjoys a prominent position in tropical agroforestry primarily on account of its multiple benefits such as food, fodder, fuelwood and timber values. Jackfruit, largest among the fruits, has high demand world over due to its nutritive value and taste. Jack tree also yield durable timber with excellent strength properties. Fast growth, shade tolerance and amenability to tree management practices such as lopping, pruning, thinning etc are some of the factors that qualifies jack tree as a useful component for integration in multitier agroforestry systems such as homegardens. Furthermore, it contributes to ecosystem services such as C-sequestration, litter dynamics, nutrient cycling and micro site enrichment. Enumerable agroforestry systems can be cited that integrate jack tree with other crop forms. Prominent among them are the traditional multitier homestead farming systems practiced in the humid tropics, jack tree based black pepper production system, jackfruit-pine apple based agrisilvicultural systems, jack leaf fodder based silvopastoral systems, windbreaks and shelterbelts, avenue plantations etc. Despite its versatility as a tree species for general afforestation and for agroforestry programmes, research attention on standardizing effective management strategies under system are yet to be evolved for this species.
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12
Jack and Agroforestry
T.K. Kunhamu
ABSTRACT
Jackfruit, though takes its origin to the Indo – Malayan regions, emerged over time as one of the most
widely distributed tree species in the tropics. Jackfruit enjoys a prominent position in tropical agroforestry
primarily on account of its multiple benefits such as food, fodder, fuelwood and timber values. Jackfruit,
largest among the fruits, has high demand world over due to its nutritive value and taste. Jack tree also
yield durable timber with excellent strength properties. Fast growth, shade tolerance and amenability
to tree management practices such as lopping, pruning, thinning etc are some of the factors that
qualifies jack tree as a useful component for integration in multitier agroforestry systems such as
homegardens. Furthermore, it contributes to ecosystem servi ces such as C- sequestration, litter dynamics,
nutrient cycling and micro site enrichm ent. Enumerable agroforestry systems can be cited that integrate
jack tree with other crop forms. Prominent among them are the traditional multitier homestead farming
systems practiced in the humid tropics, jack tree based black pepper production system, jackfruit- pine
apple based agrisilvicultural systems, jack leaf fodder based silvopastoral systems, windbreaks and
shelterbelts, avenue plantations etc. Despite its versatility as a tree species for general afforestation and
for agroforestry programmes, research attention on standardizing effective management strategies
under system are yet to be evolved for this species.
Key words
:Jackfruit, Agroforestry, Silviculture, Litter dynamics, Multitier agroforestry,
Black pepper, Support tree, Homegardens, Woodlots, Soil improvement, Tree
management
1. INTRODUCTION
Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) perhaps the most widely distributed tree species in
the genus Artocarpus, enjoys a dominant place in tropical agroforestry primarily on account
of its multiple uses and amenability to integrate with other crop forms (Nair, 1989; Hossain
Dept. of Silviculture & Agroforestry, College of Forestry Kera la Agricultural University, Thrissu r - 680 656,
Kerala State, India. E-mail: kunhamutk@yahoo.com
The Jackfruit176
& Haq, 2006). The ever green thick foliage, round crowned tree stands out for its aesthetic
elegance. Jackfruit tree is easily distinguishable from other trees on account of its unique fruit
which is largest among the cultivated plants. Jackfruit often forms part of regular diet in
many places. For instance, it is the national fruit of Bangladesh and it is consumed by all
classes of rural people (Rashid et al., 1987; Haq, 2003). Jackfruit is rich in vitamin A and C,
contains moderate amounts of minerals and high quantities of protein, calcium, thiamin,
riboflavin and carotene (Hossain et al., 1979).
Apart from the delicious jackfruit, it is chiefly cultivated for timber and fodder. Jack
trees yield excellent timber with good durability and structural properties (Orwa et al.,
2009). It yields fuelwood with high calorific values (22.5 kJ g-1 dry weight; Shanavas &
Kumar, 2003). Jackfruit is assumed to have its origin in the Malayan rain forests and
Western Ghats of India (Zielenski, 1955; Barrau, 1976; Haq, 2006). Over the times, it has
naturalized and enjoying a wider distribution in many humid tropics such as Indonesia,
Thailand, China, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and parts of Africa, Brazil, Costa Rica,
Suriname, the Caribbean islands, Florida, and Australia (Nair, 1987; Falacao & Clement,
2001).
2. GROWTH HA BIT AND SILVICULTURAL CHARACTERS
A. heterophyllus is a medium-size evergreen tree typically reaching 8-25 m in height and 30-
80 cm diameter within a period of 20-25 years (Elevitch & Manner, 2006). It grows in
tropical, near tropical and subtropical regions. Compared to the other members of the
genera it extends into much drier and cooler climates. It can also withstand lower
te mperatur es and f rost; it bears fruit at lat itude s up to 30º on either s ide of the equ ator w ith
good yields at 25º north and south. The tree is less tolerant to drought or flooding, and
shows optimum production in warm, humid climate with evenly distributed rainfall (Orwa
et al., 2009). Jackfruit enjoys biophysical limits suitable for typical humid tropical climate
with mean annual rainfall ranging from 1000-2400 mm and mean annual temperature
from 16ºC to 22ºC. In general Jackfruit prefers lower altitudes, however, thrives well over
an altitudinal range of 0-1600 m (Haq, 2006; Orwa et al., 2009). It prefers well drained deep
alluvial soil with moderate fertility and with slightly acidic to neutral pH. It tolerates a
wide range of soil texture and grows even in the poorest soils, including gravelly or lateritic
soils and sandy or stony soils. However, it exhibits moderate tolerance to saline soils
(Elevitch & Manner, 2006).
The chapter focuses on place of jackfruit as a component in tropical agroforestry systems
and practices. Agroforestry is a collective name for land-use systems and technologies where
woody perennials (trees, shrubs, palms, bamboos, etc) are deliberately used on the same
land-management units as agricultural crops and/or animals, in some form of spatial
arrangement or temporal sequence (Lundgren & Raintree, 1982). It ensures sustained
availability of multiple product s such as food, vegetables, fruits, fodder, fuel, foliage, medicine,
and small timber etc. In agroforestry systems there are both ecological and economic
interactions between the different components. Hence the choice of tree species in agroforestry
is of paramount importance.
Jack and Agroforestry 177
3. JACKFRUIT: SUITABILITY FOR AGROFORESTRY
Fast growing multipurpose trees (MPTs) always have a preference in agroforestry primarily
on account of their multiple benefits (Nair, 1987). Jack trees hence assume greater significance
as an agroforestry component owing to its fast growth, food and fodder, fuelwood and
timber value, tolerance to shade, amenability to lopping and an array of direct and indirect
benefits (Haq, 2006).
Growth rate: Jackfruit is known for its faster growth, attaining height of 3 m and canopy
diameter of 2 m in 2 years. During the early years the Mean Annual Increment (MAI) in
height is abo ut 1.5 m yr -1 declining to 36-60 cm yr-1 (Acedo, 1992). The tree attains height of
15-17 m and 20-34 cm in diameter at the age of 20 years. In terms of cubic content, the tree
attains volume in the range of 0.9- 1.09 m3 with in 20 years and MAI in volume around 0.05
m3 tree-1 (AICRPAF, 2010). However, at maturity the tree attains remarkable dimensions of 20-
25 m height and > 50 cm diameter at breast height with in 25-30 years (Morton, 1987).
Another characteristic of agroforestry relevance is its tolerance to canopy manipulations.
Even though jack produces reasonably large crown (3.5-6.7 m), it is fairly amenable to
management interventions. For instance, reports suggest that continuous annual lopping of
jack tree leads to improvement in stem form there by better timber quality is assured (Elevitch
& Manner, 2006 ). However, there must be some trade off between timber production and fruit
production which are mutually exclusive. Ability to tolerate heavy shade levels permits the
growth of jack in fairly dense homegardens and other multi-tier agroforestry systems.
3.1. Wood Properties
Jackfruit enjoys a dominant position among the tropical timbers primarily as a tree of the
commons. It constitute a sizable proportion (17-29%) of the wood products from tropical
homegardens (Wickramasinghe, 1992). It gives a medium hardwood (specific gravity 0.6-
0.7) and is highly valued for furniture, cabinet making, and for musical instruments (Gunasena
et al., 1996). High durability, resistance to termites and decay, easy seasoning and good
response to polish are some of the qualities that endear jackfruit among the growers (Soyza,
1973). It’s grain is deeply interlocked and resists cracking. As the wood ages, it turns from
yellow or orange to red or brown. The excavated roots of old trees are highly prized for
carving and picture frames.
3.2. Silvopastoralism
Tree leaves in general, are extensively used as livestock fodder, on account of their unique
characteristics which make them preferable for both smallholder and large-scale livestock
enterprises. However, there exists wide variation among the fodder tree species with respect
to their growth rate, biomass production, nutritive value and palatability. Tree based fodder
production systems vary widely in their capacity to produce green fodder which range from
0.2 to 2.0 Mg ha-1yr-1 (Rai et al., 2007).
Jack tree leaves are extensively used as ruminant feed in many part of the tropics (Keir et
al., 1997; Das et al., 2002). It is highly palatable and contain 8% digestible crude protein (CP)
The Jackfruit178
and 58% TDN (Das & Ghosh, 2001), crude protein (15.9%), crude fiber (32.5%), total ash
(11.10%), NDF (36.3%) (Dey et al., 2006). Jackfruit leaves may replace 25% of the supplemental
concentrate for growing goat kids grazing in native pasture of northeast India (Keir et al.,
1997). The relative feed intake by goats and rabbits of the different foliage showed that
highest intake on dry matter basis for goats was with Jack fruit (960 g/day) and lowest was
for banana stem (only 73 g/day) (Das et al., 2002). The leaf fodder biomass outturn from
jackfruit is fairly high compared to many fodder tree species. Tien et al. (1996) observed an
annual yield of leaf fodder from 10-year-old Jack fruit trees at the order of 150 to 250 kg tree-
1, equivalent to an annual yield of between 37 and 63 Mg ha-1 fresh leaves (based on area per
tr ee of 40 m2 ), and a pro tein yield of 1. 9 to 3.2 Mg ha-1 yr-1.
3.3. Litter Dynamics and Soil Enrichment
The j ackfr uit canopy prov ides per enni al cover t o the s oil, acting as a shade tree (a verage leaf
area 64 m2 tree-1; Kumar et al., 1998) and absorbing the impact of rain on the soil. Weed
growth is reduced when leaf mulches are used. Jackfruit fresh foliage is rich in mineral
nutrients such as nitrogen (2.15%), phosphorus (0.11%) and potassium (1.26%) (Kumar et al.,
1998). Hence, incorporation of foliage mulch to the soil can substantially improve the soil
nutrient status. The action of roots particularly taproots growing into soil benefits soil
structure by reducing compaction, and facilitates soil conservation.
Nutrient return via litter decay has long been recognized as the primary pathway for
nutrient cycling in tree-based ecosystems. The role of leaf litter as a source of nutrient, however,
is dependent on its decomposition rate, which in turn, controls the release of the tissue-held
mineral ions. Litter production and probable nutrient returns via litter rout has been studied
for jackfruit from the tropical homegardens (Isaac & Nair, 2006). Chemical quality of the
Jackfruit litter is relatively better as compared to many MPTs. Bioelemental concentration in
the jackfruit litter is, nitrogen 0.91%, phosphorus (0.13%) and potassium (0.6%), lignin 15.2
(%). Its role in improving the soil fertility has been reported through increased earthworm
activity in the soil beneath the jack trees (Isaac & Nair, 2006). Jackfruit litter decays much
faster with almost 80% of the litter mass decomposing in 5 months. Monthly decay rate
coefficient for Jackfruit litter was 0.22 (R2=0.84) and litter half-life value as 3.1 months
(Jamaludheen & Kumar, 1999). Ecologically related species Artocarpus hirsutus however, show
slower litter decomposition compared to jackfruit. The faster decomposability associated
with A. heterophyllus is prim arily due to the lower lignin: nitrogen ratio (8.33) c ompared to A.
hirsutus (18.16) (Jamaludheen & Kumar, 1999).
4. JACKFRUIT BASED A GROFORESTRY SYSTEMS
On account of the mult iple attributes mentioned a bove, Ja ckfruit tree is grown in association
with large number of arable crops such as vegetables, fruits crops and spices, and also with
other perennial species such as coconut, cocoa, pepper, etc (Nair, 1989; Elevitch et al., 1998).
Jackfruit can be grown in homesteads, community places, by the roadside and in orchard
plantations. There is currently a great deal of interest in expanding the use of jackfruit in
agroforestry and household farming systems. In Indian subcontinent, jackfruit is intercropped
Jack and Agroforestry 179
with fr uit crops suc h as mango, cit rus (Kumar et al., 1995). For instance, among the 93 tree
species encountered in the agro-ecosystem in the north Karnataka, South India, the fruit
yielding tree species Mango (14.7%) and Jackfruit (10.9%) topped the list (Shastri et al., 2002).
In the Philippines it is often planted in coconut groves while used as an intercrop in
durian (Durio ziberthinus) orchards in Malaysia (Acedo, 1992). In the peninsular India and
Bang ladesh, the tr ees are also used as shade for coffe e or areca nut and a s li ving supports for
black pepper (Piper nigrum) vines (Hossain & Haq, 2006). In Bangladesh it is a dominant tree
on household farm s where it is gro wn with ma ny perennial t rees and annual crops (M annan,
2000). Haq (2003) recommended jackfruit use in the high and medium highlands in Asia as
well as in homesteads in association with different species. Jackfruit is used as a shade tree
for coffee, pepper, betel nut, and cardamom. Following are some of the prominent jackfruit
based agroforestry systems prevalent in the tropics.
4.1. Jackfruit and Homestead Agroforestry
Homegardens are ‘land use system involving deliberate management of multipurpose trees
and shrubs in intimate association with annual and perennial agricultural crops and
invariably livestock within the compounds of individual houses, the whole tree-crop animal
unit being intensively managed by family labour (Singh, 1987; Soemarwoto, 1987; Hocking
et al., 1996; Kumar & Nair, 2004).
They are characterized by farming systems where trees, herbs, shrubs and animals are
effectively integrated. They are multi-tier systems with tree/herb components occupy different
strata. The homegarden trees and shrubs are either scattered throughout the homestead or
on farm boundaries. Among the homestead trees, jackfruit enjoys a dominant position by
virtue of its faster growth and multiple uses (Nair, 1989). Jackfruit in general constitute the
upper storey along with other fruit trees such as mango, jamun (Sizygium cuminii), and
timber trees such as Gmelina arborea, t eak, mahog any, ailant hus i n th e hom egarden of Kerala,
India (Kumar et al., 1994; Kumar & Nair, 2006). However, the species association varies
significantly with regions. For instance, the jackfruit dominate in the homegardens in Assam,
N-E India in the canopy layer between 10 and 15 m along with species such as Artocarpus
chama, Cassia siamea, Dillenia indica, Gmelina arborea, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Mangifera indica,
Sterculia foetida, Sterculia villosa, Syzygium cuminii, Terminalia chebula, Zanthoxylum limonella,
and Bamboo sp (Das & Das, 2005). In Andaman and Nicobar homegardens top storey (15 to
20 m) is occupied by coconut whereas the sub canopy (10-15 m) dominated by jackfruit and
arecanut (Pandey et al., 2006). In another study in Sri Lanka, Perera and Rajapakse (1991)
recordedA. heterophyllus and coconut as the most dominant component with highest relat ive
importance value.
The evergreen and shade tolerant nature of Jack tree permits its occurrence in fairly
shaded homegar dens. A st udy in the homegardens of Ker ala, I ndia showed tha t among the
127 woody species encountered in the homegardens, jack tree enjoyed the 3rd position in
term s of r ichnes s (relative freq uenc y 11.7%; Kumar et al., 1994). Similar reports suggest a high
relative frequency (77%) for jackfruit in the homegardens of N-E India (Sahoo, 2009). It is
much preferred in the farm borders along with ailanthus and teak. The suggested planting
The Jackfruit180
geometry along the farm border is single/double hedge rows at 3 m spacing between trees.
For double row planting, rows can be spaced at 3 m. Apart from farm boundaries, jackfruit
trees are grown inside the homegarden but mostly in a scattered manner with out any
predetermined spacing (Kumar et al., 1994). Many a times this tree multiplies by natural
regeneration either through birds or other arboreal animals (squirrels). The seeds are
recalcitrant in nature and hence viability is lost with in weeks (Soepadmo, 1992). However,
fresh seeds show high germination potential (90-95%) during the early seed maturity period.
Homestead based jackfruit cultivation is common in the Kebun of Malaysia and the
Kampong of Indonesia (Soepadmo, 1992). This multi-storey tree orchards known as
‘Pekarangan’ may account for 40% of the land use. In these homesteads jackfruit form part of
the middle layer of the upper canopy along with fruit trees such as rambutan, mangosteen
and several palm species. Despite the overwhelming importance of jackfruit, genetic studies
and managerial research on t his species are lacking. Hence, more att ention should be focused
on this under-researched species for which considerable genetic diversity exists in the
homegardens.
4.2. Jackfruit Woodlots
On account of the commercial scope for growing jackfruit, especially for fruit and timber, its
cultivation on woodlot basis is getting attention in the recent times (Elevitch & Manner,
2006). Studies suggest that in woodlots of jackfruit planted at 2 × 2 m spacing, trees attain
mean height of 8.73 m and dbh of 9.24 cm at the age of 8 years (Kumar et al., 1998). They
reported a mean tree biomass accumulation at 8.8 year age as 32.77 kg tree-1 while the same
on stand basis was 82 Mg ha-1 (MAI: 9.32 Mg ha-1 yr-1), h igher t han most of t he tropical MPTs
(Table 12.1). For instance, the biomass accumulation per ha basis was 58.93 and 40.54 Mg
ha-1 for Artocarpus hirsutus and Ailanthus triphysa respectively (Table 12.1, Kumar et al., 1998).
Howeve r, these figure appear s to be l ower as compared t o the biomass accu mulati on ra tes by
fast growing exotics like Acacia auriculiformis (326 Mg ha-1) and Paraserianthes falcataria (123
Mg ha-1) at the same age (8.8 yrs). Aboveground biomass prediction equations have been
developed for jackfruit linking girth at breast height as prediction variable (ln B = -1.71+2.25
ln DBH where B and DBH are the aboveground biomass and diameter at breast height
respectively; Campbell et al., 1985; Kumar et al., 1998). Consequent to higher biomass
accumulation, the nutrient accumulation (dry weight basis) in the various aboveground
tissue types for jackfruit (stemwood, branchwood, twigs and foliage) were fairly high (958.3,
30.9 and 386.2 kg ha-1 N, P and K respect ively; Kuma r et al., 1998) as co mpa red to many MPTs
of similar growth habit (Table 12.1). Nevertheless, potential for jackfruit to export nutrients
from the site through whole tree harvest is relatively lower as compared to fast growing trees
MPTs such as A. auriculiformis and Paraserianthus falcataria.
The aboveground biomass production for jackfruit indicates considerable increase with
time. For in stance, the m ean tre e biomass produ ctio n for 25-35 c m diameter class at the age of
20 years was 285 kg tree-1 while the value on stand basis was 280 Mg ha-1 (AICRPAF, 2010).
Jackfruit tree in woodlots also serve as potential carbon sink by way of sequestering
atmospheric CO2. Considering 50% biomass on dry weight basis as reasonable estimate of C-
Jack and Agroforestry 181
stocking, C-sequestration potential of A. heterophyllus will be to the tune of 140 Mg ha-1
(AICRPAF, 2010).
4.3. Jackfruit as Black Pepper Standard
Jackfruit is considered as one o f the most preferred support tree for black pepper cultivation.
In the high rainfall humid tropics pepper is traditionally trailed on large number of support
trees (27 tree species; Salam et al., 1991) scattered around the homestead/farm. However,
farmer preference for block cultivation of pepper is traditionally limited to few tree species
such as Erythina sps. Black pepper cultivation in dense blocks is a profitable and viable land
use practice even for the marginal and large-scale farmers.
Recent studies on the block cultivation of pepper using nine fast growing MPTs showed
thatAcacia auriculiformis and A. heterophyllus put forth maximum dry pepper yield to the tune
of 2.5 and 1.9 Mg ha-1 respectively (Table 12.2, Plate 12.1). Growth performance and lopped
biomass yields were also superior compared to other conventional pepper support trees
(Table 12.2, Fig. 12.1). Amiability to lopping, physical suitability for clinging roots are some
of the factors that promotes its preference as ideal support for black pepper. As per this
Table 12.1: Aboveground biomass and nutrient accumulation for different multipurpose trees in
woodlots at 8.8 years of stand age at Kerala, India
Species Aboveground N (kg ha-1) P (kg ha-1) K (kg ha-1)
biomass (Mg ha-1)
Acacia auriculiformis 326.43 958.3 30.9 386.2
Ailanthus triphysa 40.54 260.2 15.8 84.6
Artocarpus heterophyllus 82.01 317.2 16.6 290.9
Artocarpus hirsutus 58.93 308.5 30.2 422.0
Casuarina equisetifolia 95.58 243.4 9.4 75.2
Emblica officinalis 68.86 235.1 18.6 152.3
Leucaena leucocephala 22.81 117.7 2.7 33.5
Paraserianthus falcataria 183.48 622.8 16.2 279.5
Pterocarpus marsupium 66.11 305.2 9.1 252.3
p<0.05 <0.01 <0.01 <0.01
Source: Kumar et al., 1998.
Table 12.2: Comparative performance of 15-year-old multipurpose trees as black pepper standards at
Kerala, India
Support tree species Height (m) DBH (cm) Pepper yield
Dry wt (Mg ha-1)
Casuarinaequisetifolia 13.68a14.82b1.34bc
Macaranga peltata 10.29c19.91a0.83c
Ailanthus triphysa 8.47d17.11b0.93c
Artocarpus heterophyllus 11.00bc 19.87a1.91ab
Acacia auriculiformis 12.47ab 20.60a2.56a
Grevillea robusta 10.83c15.58b1.68b
CD (p<0.05) 1.53 2.58 0.6684
Source: George, 2005; AICRP on Agroforestry Research Report, Kerala Agricultural University, 2005 Values
followed by the same superscript do not differ significantly
The Jackfruit182
technology, pepper (var. Karimunda) ca n be t rail ed on suppor t trees from the third year of tree
planting. The trees were subjected to annual lopping during May. Farmyard manure and
cow dung (each 25 kg/tree) were applied once annually before the onset of monsoon rains.
This technology may be suitable for the warm humid tropical climate with mean annual
rainfall more than 2000 mm and temperature ranges such as 38oC (mean maximum) and
19.5ºC (mean minimum). One of the limitations in using A. heterophyllus as pepper support is
the lower jackfruit yield. Branch pruning can however, be suitably regulated to improve fruit
yield in Jack, which needs to be resolved through further experimentation.
Among the pepper support trees under study, highest annual litter production was
reported for A. heterophyllus (4.65 Mg ha-1) followed by Macaranga pelatata (4.55 Mg ha-1),
Grevillea robusta (3 .03 Mg ha -1),Casuarina equisetifolia (2. 93 Mg ha -1),Acacia auriculiformis (2.87
kg ha-1) and Ailanthus triphysa (2.22 Mg ha-1). Nitrogen addition through litter fall was to the
tune of 65.75 kg ha-1for A. heterophyllus (George, 2004).
4.4. Pineapple and Jackfruit Based Agrisilviculture Systems
Jackfruit and pineapple based agroforestry is a common practice in the rural Bangladesh
(Hasan et al., 2008). Bashar (1999) reported that 50 per cent of all households at Kapasia
upazila under Gazipur district of Bangladesh had pineapple gardens adjoining their
homesteads mostly under the jackfruit trees. In this system, the partial shade of the trees
improves the physical environment for pineapple that ultimately enhances the yield and
quality of the latter. The average annual net returns from the traditional pineapple-jackfruit
practices were found much higher than the pineapple sole crop (Abedin & Quddus, 1991).
Plant jackfruit sapling during the rainy season i.e. in the month of July-August and the
pineapple s uckers in the month of September with about 120 saplings per hectare for jackf ruit
and about 30000 suckers per hectare for pineapple, respectively. The jackfruit trees not only
Fig. 12.1:Lopped biomass yield for 15-yr-old black pepper support trees at Thiruvazhamkunnu,
Kerala, India
Jack and Agroforestry 183
provide suitable ecology for the under storey crop but also produce other basic requirements
of the growers such as food, fodder, fuel wood and timber.
4.5. Jackfruit Avenues and Wind Breaks
Extensive avenue plantations of jackfruit is a common practice in peninsular India,
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The thick foliage and branching habit make them ideal shade
trees (Plate 12.2). The recommended spacing for avenue planting is at 3 m in single row on
either side of the avenue and thinning subsequently. Apart from the shade and aesthetic
beauty, such plantations also function as effective wind breaks (Plate 12.3). Jackfruit makes
a very good component in a multi-species windbreak and has been known to withstand
wind with high velocity (Elvitch, 2004). For maximum protection, better to have multiple
rows of jackfruit located in the interior of wind sheltered rows of the windbreak. Jackfruit
trees may be planted in the more sheltered areas of windbreak to maximize fruit production
and quality. Yet another advantage of choosing jackfruit as windbreak is that they bear fruit
on main branc hes, trunk or inter ior of tree ra ther than on outer branche s which a re se riously
affected by wind. However, fruit trees like jackfruit in a windbreak should be pruned only
sparingly, as pruning can greatly compromise wind resistance. Use of long rotation trees like
jackfruit as windbreak also appeals to many farmers as it yields timber of high demand and
value. Nonetheless, wind stress may affect the tree form or produce timber of poor quality.
Als o, lim it atio n on p runi ng m ay fur ther redu ce timbe r yi elds f or ja ckfr uit th at requi re a lot of
pruning for optimal timber production.
4.6. Fruit Based Multi-Tier Cropping Systems
Fruit based agroforestry systems are self sustainable multi species- multi-tier agroforestry
systems practiced in the hilly regions of N-E India. The system consists of three main
components viz. main crop, filler crop and inter crops which occupy three different tiers in
space of the production system. Under rainfed conditions, perennial large trees like jackfruit
and mango are planted as main crop while aonla, sapota, custard apple or guava or lime can
be planted as filler crops. For intercropping during the initial 10 years, different legumes like
pigeon pea, horse gram, blackgram, cowpea, French bean, millets, oilseeds like niger, ground
nut, fodder like Stylosanthes, etc. may be grown in the understorey. The main crop jackfruit
may be planted at wi der spacing of 10 × 10 m while the filler c rops m ay be at 5 × 5 m spac ing.
Since it prov ides ade quate g round cover, and hi gh litter t urnover, this system enr iches a nd
conserves the soil in the hilly tracts. Integration of timber and fruit trees in coffee garden
forms yet another jackfruit- multi strata agroforestry practice popular in Indonesia (Ginoga
et al., 2002). This coffee-shade tree based multi strata system permits the spatial allocation of
different tree species in accordance with their growth habit. In this system tree species such
as jackfruit, Dalbergia latifolia and Paraserianthes falcataria are grown in the coffee garden at
wider spacing (10 × 10 m). The middle and lower stories are dominated by medium sized
trees such as erythrina, Gliricidia sepium and banana (Ginoga et al., 2002).
Hedge row intercropping practices involving jackfruit and nitrogen fixing trees have
been reported from the sub humid tropics of Holualoa, Hawaii (Elevitch et al., 1998). This
The Jackfruit184
unique system involves growing jackfruit in the alleys between the hedgerows of NFTs
Acacia angustissima and Calliandra calothyrsus. The hedgerows were pruned to supply mulch
material, which was placed in a circle around the orchard trees. When the height of the
hedgerow trees reaches approximately 3-4 m, the hedgerows are pruned back. This planting
configuration has several advantages over alley cropping with annual crops, including
maximizing the distance between hedgerows and crops, and concentrat ing the organic matt er
to a small area around the crops.
5. JACKFRUIT MANAGEMENT IN AGROFORESTRY
Early repeated weeding is necessary for faster establishment. Weed free mulching with
leaves, chipped tree branches will help to suppress weeds and evaporation (Elevitch &
Wilkinson, 1999). For commercial fruit production, the trees are topped at the age of 2-3
years to a height of 3-5 m to promote lateral branch formation at accessible height. However,
the new branches formed after topping may not be strong as the original, and hence top
pruning is continued throughout the life of the tree to avoid branches breaking off due to
wind or the weight of the fruit (Elevitch & Manner, 2006). Heavy annual lopping of the
branches (30-40%) is a customary tree management practice in jackfruit- black pepper
based system. In other intercropping systems involving jackfruit, lower interior damaged
branches may be pruned. Standard fertilizer regimes are not evolved for jackfruit. Coronel
(1983) suggest a recommended commercial fertilizer regime as 100-150 g ammonium sulfate
(20-0-0) per tree in the first year, increasing in pre-bearing years; then 0.5-1.0 kg of 14-14-14
fertilizer per tree increasing with age and size, with a full-grown tree 15-20 years old
receiving 2-3 kg complete fertilizer. The use of nutrient-rich organic mulches such as
prunings from fast-growing nitrogen-fixing trees can reduce or eliminate the use of
commercial fertilizer. For timber production, it is important to keep the lower portion of the
trunk clear of branches and fruit-bearing lateral spikes in order to produce clear, knot-free
wood. Because jackfruit has a tendency to produce fruit-bearing spikes low on the trunk,
annual pruning of these spikes is often recommended.
6. CONCLU SION
Jackfruit forms one of the less exploited and valuable tree species cultivated in the humid
tropics. The multiple uses such as fruit, fodder, timber and array of other uses provide a
prominent role in most of the tree based production systems in the tropics and sub-tropics.
Its shade tolerance and amenability to canopy regulation permits its integration in multi
strata agroforestry systems like homegardens. Despite the multitude of benefits offered by
this tree species, it is regarded as one among the lesser exploited tree species of the tropics.
Consequently research attention is yet to fall on the nutritional potential, tree management
practices while integrating with other crop combinations. Below ground root dynamics of
jackfruit are least studied and such information are vital for studying the belowground tree-
crop interactions in polyculture systems.
Jack and Agroforestry 185
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