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Krishi Jagran Kerala Attends Two-day National Conference Inaugurated at Central Tuber Crops Research Institute

A two-day National Conference on 'Tropical Tuber Crops for Sustainability, Tradition, Agri-Food Systems & Resilience' to commemorate the diamond jubilee celebrations of CTCRI in collaboration with the Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC) was inaugurated at ICAR-CTCRI on November 28, 2023.

KJ Staff
Krishi Jagran Kerala attends two-day National Conference
Krishi Jagran Kerala attends two-day National Conference

The chief guest of the programme, Dr. B Neeraja Prabhakar, Vice Chancellor, Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University, Telangana, inaugurated the conference. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI presided over the function and Dr. R. Dinesh, Director, Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) was the Guest of Honour of the inaugural function. The conference was organized with the aim of understanding the scope and importance of tropical tuber crops among various stakeholders including researchers, farming community and policy makers.

During the inaugural session, Dr. Neeraja Prabhakar highlighted the importance of tuber crops, which are of high productivity and with huge scope for bio-fortification in achieving millennium development goals of zero hunger and poverty. She stressed the need for disease-free planting materials and also exploited the non-traditional areas for planting area expansion. Dr. G. Byjuin his presidential address detailed the importance of tropical tuber crops and highlighted the concerted research activities in CTCRI, which resulted in the highest productivity of cassava in the world.

He pointed out that an annual productivity increase of 4% achieved for cassava for about 60 years is unprecedented for any crop in any research institution. He also stressed the need to elevate the status of sweet potato as a superfood. Dr Dinesh mentioned the concept of ‘One ICAR’ and encapsulated strains of three bio-capsules developed with collaboration between CTCRI and IISR.

There were presentations of awards such as Fellow of ISRC to Dr James George and Dr. G. Suja, Outstanding Research Contribution Award to Dr. S.N. Moorthy & Dr. R.C. Ray and Dr. A. Abraham Best Research Paper Award to Ms. S.U. Shilpa. The release of various publications and products was done during the event. The main products released were - bio-capsules which were produced as a joint venture of CTCRI & IISR, disease diagnostic kits, products made by CTCRI regional station, Bhubaneswar- Nan-Khatai made from cassava as well as sweet potato.

There was a signing of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for consultancy services in the development of a bio-fortified sweet potato value chain for industrial production with M/S Xobu Foods and Beverages Pvt. Ltd, Andhra Pradesh. Dr. M.S. Sajeev, vice-president, ISRC and principal scientist, delivered the welcome address and Dr. T. Makeshkumar, Secretary, ISRC and head Division of Crop Protection proposed the vote of thanks.

About 200 delegates including scientists, faculties, and students from across 24 States/Union territories participated in the event. An exhibition showcasing the technologies of all ICAR Institutes in Kerala, KVKs, Kerala Agriculture University, State Horticulture Mission, VFPCK, FPO, progressive farmers and other stakeholders from 25 different organisations was a centre of public attention.

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