Name : Harish Chandra Shetty
District & State : -1, Karnataka
Category : Agro based food processing machinery
Award : National
Award Function : 2nd National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2002
(69 years), is a farmer having four acres of land where he grows arecanut and coconut. A widower with two children, Shri Shetty has received several honours and awards so far. His `Shetty Nursery’ is very popular in the locality. Grafting of fruits like mango is his great hobby that he has inherited from his father. This prompted him to select and popularize the latex less jackfruit. Thousands of farmers through out Karnataka benefited from this variety. Even state horticultural department, obtained grafted materials from him. The innovator has a garden having large number of Jackfruit trees. One tree amongst these was very weak, yielded less number of fruits and the fruits were tasteless. During that period he read about latex less jackfruit variety in a local magazine `Adike Pathrike’. Inspired from this news, he tried to develop a good variety of jackfruit by grafting method. After struggling for a year, he could arrive at the proper variety. He had grafted nearly thousand plants out of which only one survived. Then he started mass production of it. At first his spouse thought it to be wastage of time but she had to change her views after successful grafting of trees. The Karnataka state government further encouraged him by giving him a certificate of appreciation. Director, CPCRI, Kasargod, recognized the increasing popularity of this variety in southern states of India due to the efforts of Mr. Harishchandra. The innovator did softwood grafting by using old jack tree as stock and another old jackfruit with very good taste and with negligible gum as scion. This was done by trial and error method. On the10th attempt, he succeeded in his experiment. He had done first successful grafting in 1988. After three years, it started yielding. But during the first year of yield, fruits dropped from the tree at immature stage itself. Next year tree bore ten fruits. When these ripened, a big surprise awaited him. The fruits were totally gum less with very good taste and colour. Shri Shetty was astonished by the taste, texture and aroma. In all these years, he has distributed more than one lakh gum less jack (sompady jack) seedlings all over the state and also to other states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. In the literature, one finds just a single reference to such a variety in Malaysia and none at all in India. Who could deny the potential of farmer breeders with such examples being found all over the country. There is, of course, a need to protect his rights under the new Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Act so that nobody else exploits his innovation in an unauthorized manner.