Stakeholders meet to promote tuber crops rainbow diet

TEZU, Mar 2: A stakeholders meet on ‘developing entrepreneurial ecosystem’ with special reference to antioxidant rich sweet potato varieties developed by the ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram to combat Vitamin ‘A’ deficiency and promote healthy eating was held recently here in Lohit district.
Notably, ‘hidden hunger’ or micronutrient deficiencies are persistent problems in Arunachal Pradesh, with over 15 percent of children under the age of nine with worrisome Vitamin ‘A’ deficiency.
Inaugurating the programme organised by the institute, along with the the KVK, Anjaw and Namsai and departments of Horticulture and Agriculture, Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan stressed on the need for diversifying the use of sweet potatoes.
He urged the farmers to grow sweet potato developed by the ICAR-CTCRI. The DC also called on the ICAR-CTCRI to scale up production of anti-oxidant rich varieties along with other tuber crop varieties to help farmers to maximise their income in Lohit district.
ICAR-CTCRI Principal Scientist Dr P Sethuraman Sivakumar indicated that “consumption of anti-oxidant sweet potato varieties on daily basis will prevent Vitamin ‘A’ deficiency.”
Scientists from the ICAR-CTCRI, Dr H Kesava Kumar, Dr V. Bansode and AVV Koundinya delivered presentations on tuber crops varieties, agro-techniques, plant protection and value addition.
A scientist-stakeholder interface was also organised to assess the entrepreneurial ecosystem for anti-oxidant rich sweet potato varieties in Arunachal Pradesh.
Quality planting materials of anti-oxidant rich sweet potato varieties, along with campaign T-shirts were distributed to farmers during the programme. Various anti-oxidant rich varieties and functional food products developed at the ICAR-CTCRI were also displayed during the meeting, which saw the participation of over 110 stakeholders from various parts of Lohit district.