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98-kg Tuber Dioscorea Bulbifera by Farmer from Uttara Kannada Exhibits Record Setting at Tuber Mela, Mysuru & Attracts Visitors

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
AirPotato

The Annual Tuber Mela was held in Mysuru on Feb 6-7 and there were around 25 groups of Tribal Farmers from surrounding areas of Karnataka who brought in their Indigenous varieties of Roots and Tubers for the Annual tuber Mela at Mysuru on Feb6-7. Among the Exhibits was a 98 kg Tuber cultivated by farmer Pandurang Ram Gwada form Joida, Uttara Kannada.

The 98 Kg Tuber belonged to the Dioscorea bulbifera, which produces Aerial tubers as well as Underground Roots. This particular tuber has been harvested after an year and half. Regular harvestings can be done after an year. They are huge Climbers with broad alternate leavein the leaf axils of the stems and also tubers beneath the ground. The Aerial tubers of this family are commonly known as the Air Potato which are climbers. It is a perennial that dries up in winter  and comes to life in the monsoon season.  

Tuber Mela

The Propagation is from the Cuttings of tubers or Bulbils. Small tubers can be cut from big tubers into 2 - 4 parts and each part could be dipped in cow dung and kept for a week or two before planting. It should be taken care that each section should have 2 - 3 dormant buds. These tubers need to be cooked well to destroy the toxic alkaloids present in them. They can then be prepared in the same way as other yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. 

Researches show that there are about 600 species of Dioscorea around the world. These are supposed to be a storehouse of antioxidants and nutrients. Reports of Research done also shows that these can be traditionally used to lower glycemic index and provides better protection against obesity and diabetes. Current Nano Technology Research on the synthesis of silver particles using Dioscorea bulbifera tuber extract and evaluation is under trial. 

Dioscorea bulbifera has a lot of profound uses mentioned in Ayurveda like improving digestion, immunity, strength, cough, congenial for heart, asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, etc. It is supposed to be an excellent aphrodisiac herb. 

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