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ICAR-CTCRI Develops Improved Tuber Crop Varieties for Farmers

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap
Tuber crop farming

ICAR’s Central Tuber Research Institute (CTCRI), in association with the National Department of Agriculture (NDA), is promoting improved and climate-resilient varieties of tubers developed by it among tribal communities within the state.  

Organized under by the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) to make ensure food security and livelihoods for tribal people and marginal farmers, the program has been rolled out in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala. In due course, it’ll be extended to other selected districts, CTCRI officials said. 

Dr K. Sunil Kumar, senior scientist and project coordinator at CTCRI said, “The three-year program will see the spread of cassava (tapioca), sweet potato and yam varieties.” 

In the district of Thiruvananthapuram, it is implemented in the panchayats of Peringamala, Nanniyode, Kuttichal, Amboori, Vithura and Tholicode. 

The other following day, cassava and sweet potato plant material were distributed to farmers in the tribal populations of the Peringammala and Nanniyode panchayats at a meeting which was chaired by Dr CA Jayaprakas, Chief, Crop Protection Division, CTCRI. 

Two kind varieties of cassava (Sree Raksha and Sree Pavithra) and four sorts of varieties of sweet potato (Sree Kanaka, Sree Arun, Bhu Krishna and Gouri) were supplied to the farmers. Sree Raksha, a high yielding variety, is resistant to cassava mosaic virus (CMV). 

Of the four varieties of sweet potatoes provided by CTCRI, Sree Kanaka and Gouri are orange-fleshed types which are high in carotene and Bhu Krishna, which has a purple colour, is rich in anthocyanins. 

“We are planning to expand the project to Idukki and Kottayam districts. Growing costs and therefore the cost of planting material is going to be covered under the project up to 50 cents per farmer,” Dr Sunil Kumar added.  

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