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Home » Crop of the Week Archive » Barhal (Artocarpus lakoocha, Moraceae)
Monkey Jack : Photo courtesy Balaram Mahalder

Monkey Jack : Photo courtesy Balaram Mahalder

Barhal (also known as Monkey jack) is one of the 60 tree species of the Southeast Asian genus Artocarpus, of which half a dozen species produce edible fruits. Jackfruit (A. heterophyllus) and breadfruit (A. altilis) are now distributed throughout the tropics. The other edible species are of a restricted regional distribution, such as barhal, a perennial deciduous tree of minor economic importance in the humid sub-Himalayan regions of India. Its edible fruits have an intense yellow colour, and peculiar taste reminiscent of citrus. The work of Prof Dwivedi of Ambedkar University, India, on the food value of barhal suggests that the wider use of this species is probably constrained by low yields, high perishability and lack of demand.

Barhal, a little-known fruit from northern India