Biofortified tuber varieties to be made part of common man’s diet, Governor remarked

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute celebrated 61st Foundation Day on 09 July 2024 at CTCRI campus in Thiruvananthapuram. Shri. Arif Mohammed Khan, Governor of Kerala, inaugurated the programme. Governor of Kerala released new technologies and publications, honoured progressive tuber crop farmers, meritorious staff and students. In his inaugural address he congratulated CTCRI for ‘the silent revolution’ in tune with nation’s goal of achieving food and nutritional security. He was eloquent in stating that through the CTCRI’s present research on bio-fortification, this poor man’s crop can become part of everyman’s healthy diet. According to Governor, the institute is a national asset, empowering farming community and provides immense contributions in national food security. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI in his presidential address detailed about importance of the institute and its research activities. According to him, the multipurpose, climate resilient, future crops are popularised in different parts of the country and are included in ‘rainbow diet campaign’ for the nutritional security of the nation. CTCRI, the designated national repository for tuber crops in the country, is focusing specially in product diversification, livelihood security of tuber crop dependent farmers, women friendly technologies and bio fortification. Prof. Chandrabhas Narayana, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram offered the special address and highlighted huge innovations and discoveries in tuber crops sector by the institute. He emphasised the need of concerted efforts in making the tuber crop based foods into children’s diet plan. Dr. G. Suja, Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Crop Production, ICAR-CTCRI delivered the welcome address. During the occasion an exhibition stall showcasing the various activities of ICAR-CTCRI was also arranged.


24th Annual Group Meeting (AGM) of All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops (AICRPTC) is organized at Navsari Agricultural University (NAU), Gujarat during 25-27 July 2024. Dr. Z.P. Patel, Vice Chancellor, NAU inaugurated the programme. Dr. Sudhakar Pandey, Asst. Director General, Hort. Science, ICAR, New Delhi was Guest of Honour. Dr. T.R. Ahlawat, Director of Research; Dr. R.M. Naik, Dean, ASPEE College of Horticulture; Dr. James George, Former Director i/c, ICAR-CTCRI & Project Coordinator, AICRPTC and Dr. Archana Mukherjee, Former Director, ICAR-CTCRI & Project Coordinator i/c graced the inaugural ceremony. Dr. G. Byju, Director, CTCRI & Project Coordinator, AICRPTC briefed a summary of activities. The AICRPTC started in 1968, one of 60 such AICRPs in India and headquartered at ICAR-CTCRI, has been conceptualized for validation of tuber crops technologies for different agro climatic zones of India through multilocation trials and currently it has 21 centres across 18 states / Union Territories spanning 11 out of 15 agroclimatic zones. The AGM discusses 30 different programmes including tuber crops biodiversity conservation, variety development, crop management technologies and special programmes for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes as well as tribals. Two days detailed deliberations discuss the progress of work by all 21 centres in India as well as prepare a plan of action of work for next year, 2024-25. The AICRPTC centre at Dr.SKLTHU, Hyderabad, Telangana bagged the best centre award during 2023-24 based on its overall performance. It is noteworthy that 6 centres have published Catalogues of Genetic Resources of Tuber Crops germplasm including which 29 different publications were released during the inaugural ceremony.

A Hindi workshop on “Annual Programme 2024-25 and Glossary & Notings”

भा.कृ.अनु.प. - केन्द्रीय कंद फसल अनुसंधान संस्थान में 19/06/2024 को पूर्वाह्न 10.30 बजे "वार्षिक कार्यक्रम 2024-25 और शब्दावली एवं टिप्पण" विषय पर एक हिन्दी कार्यशाला आयोजित की गई। डॉ. आशा देवी ए., प्रधान वैज्ञानिक एवं संपर्क अधिकारी (राजभाषा) के स्वागत भाषण के साथ कार्यक्रम का प्रारम्भ हुआ। तदुपरान्त डॉ. जी. सुजा, निदेशक (प्रभारी) एवं अध्यक्क्षा (राजभाषा) ने उद्घाटन भाषण दिया। श्री. सोमदत्तन ए., सेवानिवृत्त सहायक निदेशक (राजभाषा), आयकर कार्यालय, तिरुवनंतपुरम ने कार्यशाला का संचालन किया। इस कार्यशाला में 11 अधिकारियों और 19 कर्मचारियों को प्रशिक्षण दिया गया। वरिष्ठ प्रशासनिक अधिकारी एवं सदस्य राजभाषा कार्यान्वयन समिति, श्री. भद्रकुमार के धन्यवाद प्रस्ताव के साथ कार्यशाला समाप्त हुई। A Hindi workshop on “Annual Programme 2024-25 and Glossary & Notings” was organized at ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute on 19 June 2024 at 10.30 AM. The programme commenced with the welcome address by Dr. Asha Devi A, Principal Scientist & Liaison Officer (Official Language). Thereafter, Dr. G. Suja, Director (in-charge) & Chairman (Official Language) delivered the inaugural address. Shri. Somadetan A., Retired Assistant Director (Official Language), Income Tax Office, Thiruvananthapuram conducted the workshop. 11 officers and 19 employees were trained in this workshop. The workshop concluded with the vote of thanks by Shri. Bhadrakumar, S., Senior Administrative Officer and Member, Official Language Implementation Committee.

Tuber Crops Seed Village Program:Farmers training and distribution of inputs

Tuber Crops Seed Village a programme which seeks to ensure availability of good quality planting material of tropical tuber was inaugurated in Kalanjoor village panchayat of Pathanamthitta district as a part of the Scheduled Caste sub-plan under the auspices of ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram. The program jointly organized by ICAR - CTCRI and State Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers’ welfare was held on June 19 at KVMS Hall, Kalanjoor. Kalanjoor Panchayat President Mrs. T.V. Pushapavalli inaugurated the program. Dr. G. Byju, ICAR-CTCRI Director, delivered the presidential address which highlighted the research accomplishments of the prestigious national institute and its significance to the betterment of the farming community. Dr. K. Sunil Kumar, the programme coordinator and Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI, explained the Decentralised Seed Multiplier (DSM) and Tuber crops seed village program. This project aims to address the shortage of quality planting material by multiplying the planting material of tropical tuber in the respective villages and make the surplus available to other farmers. CTCRI also aims to procure planting materials from farmers who are growing it scientifically and will recognize them as Decentralized Seed suppliers. During the programme, planting materials of improved tuber crop varieties as well as inputs like micronutrient solution (Micronol), seedling portrays etc. were distributed to the farmers. Mr. Joggy Mariam George (Deputy Director of Agriculture), Mr. Roshan George (Assistant Director of Agriculture), Mrs. Maniamma (Vice President of Block Panchayat) and Mrs. Rama Suresh (Ward Member) extended their greetings. Members Mr. Soman, Mrs. Bindu, Mrs. Bindu Reji, Mrs. Prasannakumari and Mr. Shaji Alexander also spoke during the occasion. As part of the event scientists from ICAR-CTCRI, Dr. M.S Sajeev (Value Addition and Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Tuber crops), Dr. C. Mohan (Improved Varieties of Tuber Crops) and Dr. E.R. Harish (Integrated Management of Pest and Disease in Tuber Crops) led training sessions to the farmers. Mr. C. Shelly Kalanjoor Agriculture Officer welcomed the gathering and Dr. E.R. Harish from CTCRI delivered vote of thanks. CTCRI senior technicians D.T.Rejin and B.Satheesan also participated in the programme.

CTCRI Recommends Six New Varieties for Release During Golden Jubilee Annual Institute Research Council Meeting

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) has come out with six new tuber crop varieties for release. Two cassava varieties with excellent culinary qualities and less nutrient demanding will be released for Kerala state. Their NPK requirements are only 25 percent of the present recommendation and hence are ideal for agroecology-based, nature positive farming. The arrowroot variety with high rhizome yield (30 tons/hectare) and starch (5.95 tons/hectare) recommended for release in Kerala will be the first variety of arrowroot in our country. Two sweet potato hybrids are ready for release. SPH-52, a biofortified sweet potato hybrid with 24.64 tons/hectare yield and 8.57-11.4 mg/100g beta-catotene; and SPH-60, another sweet potato hybrid with 26.18 tons/hectare yield. YBH 9x10, with average yield of 24.66 tons/hectare, is a yam bean variety recommended for release in Odisha state. It is also heartening to note that CTCRI has developed five new cassava hybrids with excellent culinary qualities and they will be tested for performance under five different agro ecological units in Kerala before release. Research has been intensified to improve the nutritional quality of tubers through biofortification and one sweet potato, SP-95/4 (high yield - 19 tons/hectare, short duration-75-80 days and high beta-carotene- 8.5 mg/100 g) and two taro (CE-558: high in zinc- 10.57 mg/100g and another one, CE-334357: high in iron- 12.5 mg/100g) are recommended for multilocation trials before release. The institute has identified seven lines with superior traits for germplasm registration following Government of India guidelines. They are three cassava lines, CR 43-8 and W-19, two N use efficient lines and CI-906, a NPK use efficient line; and four sweet potato lines, S27- suitable for processing and SB21/57, 84x1 and Dhenkanal local 2, three drought tolerant lines. Sixteen gene sequences for different traits were identified and deposited with National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), US National Library of Medicine, USA. Six crop management technologies are recommended by IRC for validation in multi-environment trials under AICRPTC, Institute programmes, through KVKs etc. They are (i) protray nursery production by 20 g microsett in greater yam, (ii) vegetables intercropping in taro (iii) INM in tropical tuber crops (sweet potato, elephant foot yam, greater yam, taro and yam bean), (iv) management strategies for mealybugs, (v) three biocapsules and (vi) management of postharvest rot in elephant foot yam for culinary purpose. The Institute also recommended eight technologies for certification by ICAR. They are (i) high sensitivity LAMP technique for detection of Sri Lankan Cassava Mosaic Virus (SLCMV) infection in cassava, (ii) cassava and sweet potato resistant starch - RS4 type (chemically modified), (iii) continuous type cassava peeler for small scale processing, (iv) beta-carotene and anthocyanin rich low-fat sweet potato vacuum fried chips, (v) sweet potato + pearl millet choco filled cookies, (vi) satellite incubation centre: a value chain focused grassroot entrepreneurship model, (vii) rainbow diet campaign model for scaling up biofortified tuber crops varieties and (viii) seed villages for Chinese potato in Tamil Nadu. It has also been decided to file patent application for two technologies, (i) customized hydroponic nutrient solution for sweet potato and other crops and (ii) design patent for a portable self-propelled cassava sett cutter and copy right application filing for the algorithm used in the machine vision based sweet potato grader. Institute organized golden jubilee Annual Institute Research Council (IRC) meeting during 10-13 June 2024 and approved above recommendations.

ICAR-IIFSR Quinquennial Research Review Held at ICAR-CTCRI

Quinquennial Review of Research on Integrated Farming Systems, Organic and Natural farming undertaken through AICRP-IFS and AINP-OF of ICAR-IIFSR was held at ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram during 7-8 June 2024. Dr Arvind Kumar, Former VC, RLBCAU, Dr A.K. Singh, Former VC, BAU and Dr NP Singh, Member, CACP reviewed the activities. Dr G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI in his inaugural address explained achievements of CTCRI and many technologies are commercialized. He also elaborated the role and potential of tuber crops in farming systems. Review undertaken for Kerala and Gujarat revealed that 4 IFS and 2 IOFS models developed for Kerala and 3 IFS and 1 IOFS model developed for Gujarat are having potential for doubling farmers income and ensuring sustainable agriculture. Other achievements include scaling of IFS models by Government of Kerala in more than 37000 farmers field in 14 districts. Organic farming packages developed for Kerala and Gujarat have been shared with respective states for scaling. Dr Sunil Kumar, Director, ICAR-IIFSR, Dr N. Ravisankar, PC-IFS, Dr Raghavendra Singh, Head, Dr Jacob John, Director (Extension Education) and Chief Agronomist, KAU, Dr G. Suja, PI, AINP-OF and other centres from Kerala and Gujarat attended the meeting. It was recommended by committee that output from the project are excellent particularly with reference to scaling of technologies and adoption by farmers in Kerala. Committee recommended for carbon credit valuation and extending it's monetary benefits to farmers.

CTCRI commercializes e-Crop for Rs. 17.70 lakhs on world environment day

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) has signed technology license agreement (TLA) with M/s Precision Grow, Mumbai and transferred the e-Crop smart farming technology for a cost of Rs. 17.70 lakhs. The TLA was signed on the occasion of world environment day celebrations at CTCRI by G. Byju, Director, CTCRI; Praveen Malik, CEO, Agrinnovate India Limited (AgIN), Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, GoI, New Delhi and Bharat Patni, Director, Precision Grow, Mumbai in the presence of Santhosh Mithra, the inventor of the technology. S. Sunitha, Principal Scientist welcomed the gathering and Dr. P.S. Sivakumar, Principal Scientist and officer-in-charge, Institute Technology Management Unit proposed vote of thanks.Electronic crop (e-Crop), the first IoT device of ICAR which has been recently granted patent, is an electronic crop simulator that simulates crop growth in real time and provides agro-advisory at a daily time scale. Through its commercialization, the institute plans to make the device available to more areas and crops in India with a view to reduce the water, nutrients and carbon footprints without compromising on yield and income

NABARD Chief Delivers Visakham Thirunal Endowment Lecture at CTCRI

Shaji K.V., Chairman, NABARD delivered the prestigious H.H. Sree Visakham Thirunal Endowment Lecture on the topic of 'Harnessing Digital Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development' at the ICAR- Central Tuber Crop Research Institute (CTCRI), Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram on 03 June 2024. The event, organized annually by ICAR-CTCRI in association with the Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC), commemorates the immense contributions of Maharaja Sree Visakham Thirunal, who championed cassava cultivation for food and livelihood security of people in Kerala. Addressing critical challenges in agriculture such as climate change, population growth, resource depletion, and market uncertainties, Shaji K. V. emphasized the transformative role of digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain technology, remote sensing etc. in empowering the farmers to make informed decisions. He stressed upon the importance of transitioning from reactive to proactive farming to bolster resilience against environmental and market fluctuations. While acknowledging the challenges in adopting digital technologies such as lack of infrastructure, high initial costs, and data privacy concerns, he emphasized the need for collaborative efforts among various stakeholders, including government bodies, private sector players, academic institutions, and the farming community. He underscored NABARD's initiatives in digital transformation, supporting Agri-Tech startups and digitizing the agricultural value chain. Chairman NABARD emphasized the need for forward-thinking policies and leveraging of transformative digital technologies in realizing the Prime Minister's vision for a “Viksit Bharat” by 2047. Prince Adithya Varma of the Travancore royal family and Velmurugan, Asst. Director General, ICAR, New Delhi were guests of honour. G. Byju, director, CTCRI presided, M.S. Sajeev, principal scientist welcomed the gathering and T. Makeshkumar, principal scientist proposed vote of thanks.

Tuber crops seed village programme: Farmers’ training and distribution of planting material

Tuber crops seed village programme: Farmers’ training and distribution of planting material” was organised on 15.5.2024 in Venganoor Grama panchayath at CSI church Hall ,Venniyoor. The program is intended to address the shortage of quality planting materials by making available the required planting materials of the improved tuber crop varieties in each village and also collect the surplus for distribution to other stake holders. The Venganoor panchayath was adopted by ICAR-CTCRI as part of My village My pride program of Team 5 consisting of Dr. K.Sunilkumar (leader), Dr. M.N. Sheela, Principal scientist, Dr K.M. Senthilkumar , Scientist, Dr SN Rahana, Scientist and Dr. J.Sureshkumar, Scientist and as part of the programme training was imparted on following topics be respective scientists 1. Importance of quality planting material and initiatives of ICAR- CTCRI to strengthen the same through Decentralized Seed Multipliers program by Dr.K.Sunilkumar, Principal Scientist 2. Value addition in tuber crops and entrepreneurial opportunities by Dr. S. N.Rahana, Scientist. The program was organised in association with Venganoor Krishibhavan and Venganoor grama Panchayat. Sri. R S Sreekumar, President, gram Panchayat inaugurated the same which was presided over by Dr. K. Sunilkumar, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI. Standing committee chairman Smt. Ajitha Sasitharan spoke on the occasion. Smt. Sreeja S, Agricultural officer addressed the gathering. Fifty farmers from five selected wards viz. Venniyoor, Venganoor, Muttakkad, Panangodu and Nellivila are trained and planting materials of improved Cassava varieties, protray nursery of cassava variety SreeReksha, greater yam, african yam (white yam), major nutrients like urea, potash and rajphos and micro nutrient formulation (Micronol) were distributed to these farmers. Smt Sreeja ,S. Agricultural Officer, venganoor KB gave welcome address and Dr. K M Senthilkumar, Scientist ICAR-CTCRI given vote of thanks. Under the programme promising farmers will be registered as Decentralized Seed Multipliers of CTCRI. This will enable the farmers to market the quality planting material under CTCRI label at premium price.

Drone training started at CTCRI for women farmers under Kudumbashree

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Kudumbashree and FACT jointly organized a four-day agricultural drone training program for women farmers. Kudumbashree Director Bindu K.S inaugurated the training program organized at CTCRI. In her opening remarks, Smt. Bindu highlighted the unique opportunity this program creates for learning cutting-edge agricultural technologies and enhancing employment opportunities. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI emphasized how drone training can scientifically and technologically empower farmers to increase their yields. He also shed light on the 'Agrifood System', various tuber crops, and integrated farming methods aimed at boosting the livelihood sector. FACT Zonal Manager Shri. B. Sivachandran shared invaluable insights from his experiences with agricultural drone training. Dr. Sheela Immanuel, Principal Scientist,ICAR- CTCRI, expressed pride in the progress women have made in agriculture, transitioning from traditional methods to advanced drone farming. Highlight of the event: The release of a user guide in Malayalam about drone training, handed over by Dr. G. Byju to Smt. Bindu K.S. , Director , State Kudumbashree Mission . Dr. Shanavas, Program Officer, State Kudumbashree Mission spoke about the operational modes in Kudumbashree and extended greetings for a successful program. Dr. V.S. Santhosh Mithra, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI wrapped up with a vote of thanks.

World IP Day celebrated at ICAR-CTCRI

The ICAR-CTCRI has celebrated the World Intellectual Property Day under the theme “IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity” by organising multiple programmes in this week. The World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated on April 26 every year to spread awareness about intellectual property (IP) rights and how it encourages innovation and creativity to drive human progress. A strong Intellectual Property Portfolio comprising of patents, designs, copyrights, and trademarks signify the innovative and creative research achievements of a research establishment having potential to catalyse a social change. With this view, the ICAR-CTCRI has stared the World IP Day celebrations with an “IP Talk” by Er. S. Balram, Scientist G (Senior Grade) and CEO, SCTIMST - TiMED incubator. This programme began with avibrant presidential address by Dr. G. Byju, Director of ICAR-CTCRI who emphasised the need for protecting significant scientific outputs through the IP window established in various countries. He advocated the need for strengthening the IP awareness and practice through functional collaboration with various agencies. The Chief guest of the programme, Dr. Balram has narrated on how the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technologyhas laid out its “IP Path” and created dynamic startups using the “life-saving technologies” developed at the Institute. He described the key incubation strategies followed by TiMED in creating and nurturing startups through a collaborative platform. About 79 scientists, research scholars and students participated in the IP Talk.Alongside the IP Talk, the ICAR-CTCRI Agri-Business Incubator (ICAR-CTCRI ABI) has organised a two days“Workshop on technology commercialisation and licensing” for the students of College of Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University, Vellayani to equip them with critical skills in converting IP resources into commercialisable technologies. Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, Principal Scientist and In charge of ICAR-CTCRI ABI has conducted skill training sessions on IP portfolio management as well as technology licensing - IP valuation and licensing, to 23 agricultural students. The celebrations ended with a student interaction with ICAR-CTCRI scientists on technology showcasing at the ICAR-CTCRI ABI.

Patent for Chinese potato size-based grader developed by CTCRI scientists

A power operated size-based Chinese potato (koorka) grader and a method of grading thereof developed by ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram has been granted patent by Indian Patent Office. T. Krishnakumar, Scientist is the lead inventor of the technology along with M.S. Sajeev, Principal Scientist; C. Pradeepika, Scientist; R. Muthuraj, Principal Scientist and D. Jaganathan, Senior Scientist. Working on the principle of rotating motion of the grading unit through a prime mover, the Chinese potato grader sorts the tubers into four different size classes; small (below 20 mm diameter), medium (20.1-30 mm), large (30.1-40 mm) and very large (above 40 mm), most common commercially marketed tubers in India. The prime mover works with an electric motor with a gear box (25:1) to reduce the speed. With rotational speed of the grading drum and guiding roller of 10 and 1100 rpm respectively, it works on a single phase with 0.75 kW per hour power consumption with an average power cost of Rs. 5 per hour. Grading efficiency is 96 percent. In comparison to 50 man-days of labour requirement for sorting Chinese potato tubers harvested from an area of one hectare, this machine needs only two man-days for sorting the same quantity of tuber. It can grade/sort one tonne of tuber in an hour for which the average cost including labour is 150 rupees whereas manual grading of the same quanity will cost 1500 rupees. CTCRI has commercialized the technology for its production by giving a non-exclusive license to M/s Stoneheat Technologies, an engineering manufacturing firm in Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu and interested people / farmer groups can buy the machine from the company. CTCRI took up this project based on need assessment survey of Chinese potato growers considering the very high expenditure on manual grading which significantly reduces the profit of the growers who are mostly resource-poor people concentrated in the districts of Tenkasi and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu and Thrissur, Palakkad and Ernakulam in Kerala besides many other places. Grading the tubers will fetch more remuneration to farmers with grade one fetching five to six times more price than grade four. Development of improved varieties, photoinsensitivity, lack of availability of quality planting materials, nematode infestation, need for planting and harvesting machinery and price instability prioritized researchable issues in a brainstorming meeting on Chinese potato organized by CTCRI in October 2023 and research programmes in these directions are now being geared up.

The Central Tuber Crops Research Institute should play a key role in ‘Poshaka Samridhi Mission’ and ‘Jaivamission’ projects - Agriculture Minister

IICAR - Central Institute of Tuber Research, Srikariyam, organized a Farmer Training Program under All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops in the topic “Harnessing NextGen Technology for Tuber Crops Cultivation” on 5 March 2024 (Tuesday). Shri P. Prasad, Hon'ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of Kerala inaugurated the programme and distributed Arka Vertical Farming Structure to selected SC beneficiary farmers under Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) budget. In his inaugural speech, he emphasized the possible major role which can be played by Central Tuber Crops Research Institute to the major schemes of the Kerala Government, namely ‘Poshaka Samridhi Mission’ and ‘Jaivamission’. He also highlighted the need to understand the different types of tuber crops suitable for each region of Kerala, create awareness about the nutritional value of tuber crops and introduce different types of tuber based 'recipes' among the people. CTCRI Director G. Byju, in his keynote address, highlighted the research achievements and contributions of CTCRI in Smart Farming. He also highlighted the need to establish a 'Centre of excellence in ecosystem services' to plan different projects and understand exactly the contribution of farmers as part of organic farming. The farmer training program provided training in vertical farming, soilless dripponics, precision farming and hydroponics techniques. Principal Scientist at ICAR-IIHR Dr. A. Carolin Rathinakumari, ICAR-CTCRI Scientists Dr. K. Sunil Kumar and Dr. Suresh Kumar J handled the classes. Welcome address was given by Dr. K. Susan John and Dr. J. Sreekumar offered vote of thanks.

Third Meeting of 9th Research Advisory Committee (RAC – IX) organized

ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram organized third 9th Research Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting from 22nd to 23rd January 2024. Dr. N.K. Krishna Kumar, Ex-DDG (Horticultural Sciences), ICAR, New Delhi chaired the meeting. The RAC members including Dr.S.K.Pandey, Ex-Director, Shimla, Dr. Umamaheswaran, Ex-Professor, KAU, Dr. Govindakrishnan, Ex-Project Coordinator, AICRP(Potato), ICAR-CPCRI, Shimla, Dr. Sanjaya Kumar Dash, Dean (CAET), OUAT, Bhubaneswar, Dr. Philip, Ex-Director (Extension), TNAU, Coimbatore deliberated in the meeting. In the inaugural session, two tuber crops based value added products viz., Sweet potato-Nan Khatai, Cassava-Nan Khatai and four publications of ICAR-CTCRI namely, Proceedings and Recommendations on brainstorming on Chinese potato for empowering stakeholders: Challenges and Strategies, Advisory note on how to feed animals with cassava/tapioca parts, technical bulletin on yams and ICAR-CTCRI News letter (Vol40 (4), 2023) were released by Chairman. An exhibition was also arranged on this occasion with tuber crops varieties, technologies & products which were released during 2023. Dr. G.Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI outlined the technologies, products developed along with major research achievements of the institutes. Dr. P. Murugesan, Member Secretary, IX RAC presented the recommendations of 2nd RAC meeting and Action Taken Report. The RAC reviewed eight institute mega project’s progress during 2023 and provided the inputs for further strengthening the research at ICAR-CTCRI. The committee appreciated the Institute’s achievements on quality planting material production, commercialisation of value added products, academic activities, initiation of genome editing and other cutting edge research programmes.

World Soil Day Report 2023

At ICAR-CTCRI Head quarters, the World Soil Day 2023 focussing on this year’ s theme, ‘Soil and water: a source of life’ was celebrated on December 5 at 2.30 p.m. Dr. Sabu Joseph, Professor, Environmental Sciences and Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology, University of Kerala delivered the theme lecture on ‘Soil and Water Pollution in India: Challenges and Mitigations’. A total of 30 students from Government Model High School for Girls, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram attended the celebration. Dr. G. Suja, Director in charge and Head, Division of Crop Production administered the World Soil Day Pledge in both English and Malayalam and was taken by the audience during the occasion. The students and School were felicitated and were provided with planting materials of 10 high yielding varieties of cassava and sweet potato. The students along with the Chief Guest visited the various facilities and experiments of the Institute and acquainted with the type of research and development going on here. Dr. G. Suja, Dr. K. Susan John, Principal Scientist and nodal officer of the programme and Dr. J. Suresh Kumar, Scientist spoke on the occasion highlighting the significance of observing the World Soil Day every year to create awareness among the public on the i mportance of maintaining soil health to sustain this valuable resource for future generations.

CTCRI inks MoU with Odisha govt. for implementing rainbow diet for combating malnutrition in Keonjhar

The ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram, has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Odisha government for developing a customised rainbow diet for combating malnutrition in children at Keonjhar, a district with a sizeable tribal population. The MoA on behalf of Odisha Governor and ICAR-CTCRI was signed respectively by S.N. Panigrahi, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Keonjhar district, and CTCRI director G. Byju at Keonjhar on Monday. The four-year, ₹6.83-crore project is aimed at implementing a value-chain improvement strategy. This includes a baseline malnutrition assessment, production of nutritionally enriched tubers, millets, and other locally preferred food crops, and development of nutriseed systems. A ‘rainbow diet’ involves the inclusion of fresh and natural foods with different colours in the daily diet. The colours of fruits and vegetables are caused by specific phytonutrients. A ‘tuber crops rainbow diet’ is a specific meal plan focusing on antioxidant-rich sweet potato and yam varieties. Additionally, the CTCRI project envisages technology and institutional mechanisms for the production of 10 clinically validated rainbow food matrices and the creation of an institutional mechanism at the village level for long-term sustenance of locally adaptable agri-food systems. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar and M. Nedunchezhiyan, the principal investigators of the project, Laxminarayana, scientist-in-charge, CTCRI Regional Station, Bhubaneswar, were present. The Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, are collaborating partners in this project. The success of the rainbow diet concept on a smaller scale in northeast India and at Attappadi in Kerala had encouraged CTCRI to scale up the concept, Dr. Byju said.

National Conference on Tropical Tuber Crops organised at ICAR-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 Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC) was organized with an aim to understand the scope and importance of tropical tuber crops among various stakeholders including researchers, farming community and policy makers at ICAR –CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram during 28-29 November 2023. 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, ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode was the Guest of Honour of the inaugural function. Dr. Neeraja Prabhakar in her inaugural speech highlighted the importance of tuber crops, which are of high productivity and with huge scope for bio-fortification in achieving sustainable development goals of zero hunger and poverty. She stressed upon the need for disease free quality planting materials and also exploitation of the non-traditional areas for crop area expansion. Dr. G. Byju in his presidential address detailed the achievements, issues and way forward for tropical tuber crops research development and highlighted the concerted research activities in ICAR-CTCRI, which resulted in the highest productivity of cassava in the world. He pointed out an annual productivity growth rate of 4% achieved for cassava during past 60 years is a great achievement. He also stressed the need to elevate the status of sweet potato as a super food. Dr. Dinesh mentioned about the concept of One ICAR and about the encapsulated strains of three bio-capsules jointly developed by CTCRI & IISR. Six technical sessions were Biodiversity, Genetic Resources and Crop Improvement, Bioinformatics, Omics, AI and IoT Applications, Resource Management and Climate Resilient Farming, Pests and Diseases Management, Secondary Agriculture and Transfer of Technology and Commercialization. There were lead talks, oral presentations and poster presentations in each session. A separate Young Scientist Award Contest was also conducted during the event. In plenary session awards were distributed for best oral and poster presentations. During the conference, eminent scientists were honoured with fellow of ISRC (Dr. James George and Dr. G. Suja), outstanding research contribution awards (Dr. S.N. Moorthy & Dr. R.C. Ray) and Dr. A. Abraham best research paper award (Ms. S.U. Shilpa). The release of 11 publications and 6 products were done during the event. The main products released were three bio-capsules developed as a joint venture of CTCRI & IISR, for disease diagnostic kits and products developed by CTCRI Regional Station, Bhubaneswar. Nan-Khatai made from cassava as well as sweet potato. A MoU (Memorandum of understanding) was signed with M/S Xobu Foods and beverages Pvt. Ltd, Andhra Pradesh for consultancy services related to value chain establishment of Sweet Potato. Dr. M.S. Sajeev, Vice-President, ISRC & Principal Scientist, delivered the welcome address and Dr. T. Makeshkumar, Secretary, ISRC & Head, Division of Crop Protection proposed vote of thanks. About 200 delegates including internationally reputed Virologist Dr. Stephan Winter, scientists, faculties, and students from across various States/Union territories participated in the event. An exhibition showcasing the technologies of all ICAR Institutes in Kerala, KVKs, Kerala Agricultural University, State Horticulture Mission, VFPCK, FPO, progressive farmers and other stakeholders from 25 different organisations was a centre of public attention.

Awareness- cum- Training programme on PPVFR Act, 2001 organized by ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram at ICAR-KVK, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu on 26 October 2023

Awareness cum Training programme on Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 was organized by the ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram at ICAR-KVK Namakkal, Tamil Nadu on 26 October 2023 for the benefit of farmers, students and other stakeholders. The programme was sponsored by PPVFR Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi. Dr. P. Murugesan, Principal Scientist and Organizing Secretary, ICAR-CTCRI introduced the programme and welcomed the gathering. The programme was presided over by Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram who delivered presidential address. He emphasized the importance of climate resilient varieties of tuber crops and significant achievements of varietal improvement programmes at CTCRI for addressing the food and nutritional security in the country. Dr. Shaik N. Meera Director, ICAR-ATARI, Hyderabad inaugurated the event and delivered inaugural address. The Chief Guest stressed upon the importance of farmers varieties of tuber crops and benefits of the PPVFR Act, 2001 for the farmers and researchers. He encouraged participation of farmers in biodiversity related meetings and urged the farmers to set the target for registration and conserving traditional varieties by the farmers and other stakeholders. Shri. Rajganesh, Legal Advisor, PPVFR Authority, New Delhi, Dr. M. Selvaraju, Dean, VC&RI, TANUVAS, Namakkal and Dr. P.P. Murugan, Director of Extension Education, TNAU, Coimbatore graced the inaugural function as Guests of Honours. The technical publications on tuber crops -PPVFRA and registration of farmers’ varieties in Tamil and English languages were released and distributed to the participants during the event. Dr. K. Velmurugan, Professor and Head, ICAR-KVK Namakal proposed the vote of thanks. In the technical session, Shri. Rajganesh, Legal Advisor, PPVFR Authority highlighted the need of PPVFR Act, 2001 and various provisions of the Act. Dr. P. Murugesan, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI delivered a talk on the released varieties of tuber crops, facilitation of registration of traditional varieties under the PPVFR Act, 2001 and DUS guidelines in tuber crops. Dr. D. Jaganathan, Senior Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram highlighted the importance of ITKs and farmers’ innovations in sustainable development of tuber crops sector. Dr. K. Ambasankar, Head, ICAR-CIBA, Chennai spoke on tuber crops for animal and fish feed nutrition and their commercialization prospects. Tuber crops diversity exhibition was organized and best exhibitors’ awards were conferred to participants in three categories viz., improved varieties, traditional varieties and best private firm/farmers’ producers society. A total of 150 participants consist of farmers, NGO representatives, Subject Matter Specialists, project-coordinators of KVKs, students and other stakeholders participated in the programme.

Brainstorming Meeting on Chinese Potato Cultivation

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI) organized a one-day brainstorming meeting today focusing on the cultivation of Chinese potatoes. The event, which took place at the institute premises, saw active participation from over 100 stakeholders hailing from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. The focus was on empowering stakeholders by addressing the challenges faced and strategizing for a sustainable future in Chinese potato cultivation. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. P. Irene Vethamoni, Dean (Horticulture), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. In her inaugural address, Dr. Vethamoni highlighted the nutritional richness of Chinese potatoes, emphasizing their high-calorie content and essential nutrients. She stressed the need for developing high-yielding, pest-disease resistant varieties tailored to different agro-climatic zones, as well as advanced machinery for efficient harvesting and grading of tubers. Dr. Sheeba Rebecca Isaac, Associate Director of Research, RARS, Kumarakom, Kerala, served as the Guest of Honour. Dr. Isaac underscored the input responsiveness of Chinese potato cultivation and discussed the potential for increasing yields. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, presided over the meeting and highlighted the significant role played by Chinese potatoes in the agricultural landscape of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, covering over 2000 hectares in India. He emphasized the crop's vital contribution to the livelihoods, income, and food security of Chinese potato farmers. A special address was delivered by Mr. B. Muralidharan, Technical Advisor, M/S Linga Chemicals, Madurai, adding an industry perspective to the discussion. Dr. G. Suja, Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Crop Production, welcomed the attendees, and Dr. R. Muthuraj, Principal Scientist, Division of Crop Production, expressed gratitude in the vote of thanks. The brainstorming meeting provided an invaluable platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and explore innovative solutions for enhancing Chinese potato cultivation in the region. With a focus on sustainable practices and technological advancements, the event aimed to pave the way for a more prosperous future for Chinese potato farmers and contribute significantly to food security in the region.

Swachhata Pakhwada 02-10-2023

Swachhata Pakhwada (Swachhtha Hi Seva) was organized from 15th September to 2nd October at ICAR- CTCRI. Swachhata Diwas was conducted on 1st and 2nd October, 2023. The programme concluded on Gandhi Jayanthi on 02-10-2023. After paying floral tributes to Mahatma, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, Dr. G. Byju addressed all staff of the institute and reiterated the need to conduct such programmes for a garbage-free, clean and healthy nation. Dr. Sujatha T.P (Chairperson, Swachh Bharat Committee) briefed on the Swachhata programmes/ activities conducted in the institute during the Swachhata pakhwada. A human chain was formed by all staff members in front of the institute at the entrance and outside the main gate, on the side of main road, which was led by the Director, ICAR-CTCRI. Placards with slogans on swachhata were also displayed by the staff. A swachhata shramdan on the main road side of ICAR-CTCRI was organised, where non-biodegradable waste materials such as plastic covers, food packets and other degradable wastes were removed. Dr. Sujatha T.P. (Chairperson), Dr. Shameer P.S. (Member Secretary) and all other Swachh Bharath Committee members coordinated the programme. The staff members and contractual staff of ICAR-CTCRI participated in the programme.

Swachhta Pakhwada 27-09-2023

As part of the Swachhata Packwada (Swachhtha Hi Seva) being organized from 15th September to 2nd October at ICAR- CTCRI, Swachhtha Pledge was taken by all officials in the institute in presence of Dr. Suja. G, Director- in-charge. On the occasion of World Tourism Day on 27thSeptember 2023, a cleaning campaign was organised at Veli Tourist Village, Thiruvananthapuram at 3 PM. A procession with placards displaying messages highlighting importance of Swachhata or cleanliness in public spaces was carried out by staff members from main entrance of the tourist village till cleaning sites, to create awareness on Swachhata among public. Non-biodegradable waste materials such as plastic covers, food packets and other degradable wastes strewn across the tourist spot, near food outlets and beach, were removed. All the collected plastic wastes were bundled in sacks and handed over to Thiruvananthapuram Corporation for safe disposal. The overgrown bushes and weeds in the lawn of the Veli tourist village were also cut and removed. One set of placards with Swachhtha slogans were erected in the pillars on road leading to the beach. Staff members, contract staff, students etc., of the institute participated in the programme. Dr. Sujatha T.P. (Chairperson), Dr. Shameer P.S.(Member Secretary) and all other Swachh Bharath Committee members coordinated the programme.

National Symposium on Plant Health Management: Current Trends and Novel Mitigation Strategies

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram and Indian Phytopathological Society (Southern Zone), hosted two day ‘National Symposium on Plant Health Management: Current Trends and Novel Mitigation Strategies’ (11th-12th September). The Chief Guest, Dr. Mohanan Kunnummal, Vice Chancellor, University of Kerala, emphasised the importance one health, and need to protect every other species which is the tradition of BHARATH. Dr. G Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, said that climate change is the hindering factor to achieve targets of agriculture, plant health is related with human health, animal health and soil health. Dr. T. Makesh Kumar, President, the Indian Phytopathological Society (Southern Zone) and Head of the Division of Crop Protection welcomed address. The event provides a platform for researchers, experts, and stakeholders to exchange ideas and collaborate on innovative strategies to ensure the health and productivity of crops in India. Dr. Kajal Kumar Biswas, President, Indian Phytopathological Society, Dr. Bikash Mandal, Additional Director General, International Relations, Dr. S. K. Chakrabarti, former Vice Chancellor, UBKV, West Bengal, and Shri. S. Premkumar, General Manager, Canara Bank, Thiruvananthapuram Circle were present during the function. Approximately 150 delegates participated in the event.

Farmers training programme organised in Dharwad, Karnataka under AICRP on Tuber Crops

A farmers training on Pest Management in Sweet Potato Through Integrated Approach was conducted at Regional Horticultural Research and Extension Centre (under University of Horticultural Sciences (UHS), Bhagalkot), Dharwad on 10 August 2023. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI inaugurated the programme which was presided by Dr. H.P. Maheswarappa, Director of Research, UHS, Bhagalkot. Dr. Laxman Kunanoor, Associate Director of Research, RHREC, Dharwad; Dr. J.B. Gopali, Head, HEEU, RHREC, Dharwad; Dr. Imam Sahib, Assistant Professor, AICRPTC, RHREC; Mrs. Sukubai Biru Patil, Member, Grama Panchayat, Trithkunde villageKhanapur Taluk; Mr. Balvanth Krishna Naik, Progressive Sweet Potato Farmer, Trithkunde village attended the inaugural session. Technical sessions were handled by Dr. J.B. Gopali and Dr. Laxman Kunanoor. About 50 selected sweet potato farmers from Belgavi and Kanapur taluks of Belgaum district where sweet potato is cultivated in about 7000 acres. A Technical Folder on Integrated Pest Management of Sweet Potato Weevil (Dr. J.B. Gopali and Dr. Imam Sahib) was released on the occasion. Agricultural inputs including sprayers were distributed to beneficiary SC farmers. The programme was organised under SCSP programme of AICRP on Tuber Crops.

ICAR-CTCRI signed MoU to transfer of wax coating technology of cassava tubers

The ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram has signed an MoU with M/S, Entryway Shipping and Logistics Private Limited, a cochin-based company on July 27, 2023 to transfer the technology for wax coating of cassava tubers. The MoU was signed by Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI with Shri. Kunjumon K.G., Managing Director, M/S, Entryway Shipping and Logistics Private Limited, in the presence of Dr. G. Suja, Head, Department of Crop Production, Dr. T. Makes Kumar, , Scientist- in-charge, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of ICAR-CTCRI, Dr. Saravanan Raju, Principal Scientist, Department of Crop Production & inventor, Dr. Krishna Kumar T., Scientist, Department of Crop Utilization, ICAR-CTCRI and Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, In-charge of ITMU of ICAR-CTCRI. M/S, Entryway Shipping and Logistics Private limited is one of the leading providers of end-to-end logistics solutions. They combine logistics movement through road, intercontinental Air and Ocean Freight with comprehensive Value - Added Logistics Services and Supply Chain Services. They optimize all activities around information, material and financial flow and provide globally integrated end-to-end solutions tailored to our customer's supply chain management needs with a special commitment to industry specific requirements. Entryway is into verticals like exporting, freight forwarding, customs house agent, transportation, coastal movement, container surveying, etc. Now, they are planning to introduce a new product into their exporting vertical - Tapioca - primarily to Middle Eastern Countries and they are in need of guidance to do so. M/S, Entryway Shipping and Logistics Private limited, has approached the ICAR-CTCRI to access wax coating technology of ICAR CTCRI which can help them to cater their customer requirements. After signing of the agreement, demonstration of wax coating technology was done by Dr. Saravanan Raju

ICAR- CTCRI celebrated Diamond Jubilee

ICAR-CTCRI celebrated 60th Foundation Day on 22 July 2023 in the Institute. Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary, DARE & Director General, ICAR, New Delhi was the Chief Guest of the function. He inaugurated Farmer Facilitation Centre, Climate controlled plant growth facility, E-crop based smart fertigation system, Agri business Incubation (ABI) Centre, ‘Diamond Jubilee Hall’ and exhibition stalls. As part of Diamond Jubilee celebration one variety of CMD resistant cassava ‘Sree kaveri’ and two varieties of high yielding taro varieties ‘Sree Heera and Sree Telia were released. In his inaugural address ICAR Director General emphasised the role of ICAR as the base of Indian agriculture and according to him agriculture should not be considered just as an occupation, but also as a means to ensure food and nutritional security of the nation. He informed that ICAR has taken three main initiatives such as certification of technologies, expanding the education in ICAR research institutes and also need of close collaboration with private companies for technology development and commercialisation. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR- CTCRI in his presidential address highlighted research achievements of ICAR CTCRI, such as, release of one cassava variety and two high yielding taro varieties, 15 new varieties recommended for 12 agro climatic regions of India, and about the 8 technologies which were approved by ICAR in this year. In the event, Dr. K.B. Hebbar (Director, ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod), Dr. R. Dinesh (ICAR-IISR, Kozhikode), Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan (Director, ICAR-CMFRI, Kochi), Dr. George Ninan (Director, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi) and Dr. Jacob John (Director of Extension, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur) were present and delivered felicitations. During the event MoUs were signed between ICAR-CTCRI and Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram and Rubber Research Institute, Kottayam. Also honoured 7 progressive tuber crop farmers across India, exhibitions by ICAR/ State Institutes for school children were organised. In view of diamond jubilee celebration, various awards were distributed to ICAR staff and students including best employee awards and best research paper awards. Dr. G. Suja, Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Crop Production, ICAR-CTCRI delivered the welcome address and Dr. T. Makeshkumar, Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Crop protection, ICAR-CTCRI proposed the vote of thanks. More than 100 farmers and 500 students were participated in the celebrations.

CTCRI Technology Recognised at National Level in 95th ICAR Foundation Day Ceremony

e-crop based smart farming ( e-CBSF), an IoT enabled and crop model based smart farming technology developed by ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram has been recognised as one of five best technologies in horticultural sector developed during 2022-23. Dr. Santhosh Mithra, principal scientist & lead developer of the technology received certificate in the presence of Sri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Sri Purushottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Sri Kailash Chowdhury, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Govt. of India and Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary, DARE & Director General, ICAR. e-CBSF is an IoT device that calculates N, P and K and water requirements of field crops at a daily time scale aiming at minimizing the yield gap. It is now developed for cassava, sweet potato, elephant foot yam and banana which reduces yield gap to 5% from 50% in traditional farming. Also there is a saving of nutrients and water by 25-50% thereby reducing carbon footprint. Major advantage is that it can be adapted to other field crops by integrating suitable crop models. One e-CBSF device is sufficient for about 20 km2. Dr. G. Byju, Dr. J. Sreekumar and Dr. D. Jaganathan were associate developers of this technology.

ICAR-CTCRI signed MoU for commercialisation of three phyto-insecticide molecules from cassava leaves

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram has licensed machinery and process for extraction of three bioactive molecules from cassava leaves to a Tiruchirappalli-based company M/S Green Edge Agri Imports Private Limited. Named Nanma, Menma and Shreya, they are molecules with pesticidal action against insect pests of various crops. While Menma is effective against the borer insect pests of banana and coconut, Nanma is effective against sucking insect pests like aphids, thrips, scale insects, mealybugs and early instars of tobacco caterpillar (Spodoptera litura). The third variant Shreyais effective in dissolving the mealy substance of mealybug, thereby exposing the insect for control through other means. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI and Sri. Elango, Director, M/S Green Edge signed the technology licensing form (TLF) in the august presence of Sri. Praveen Malik, Chief Executive Officer of Agrinnovate India Ltd. (Agin), a ‘for profit’ company owned by Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE), Government of Indiatasked with commercialising the technologies developed by ICAR Institutes. Dr. C.A. Jayaprakas, Principal Scientist (Retd.) and principal inventor of the technologies, all scientists and technical staff involved with the project also witnessed the event. Though these technologies were perfected more than a decade ago andproved very effective for the eco-friendly management of a variety of insect pests, this is the first time that the machinery and process are licensed to a company,G. Byju said. Dr. Praveen Malikcalled for implementing a sustainable approach in commercializing the technologies through a long-term public-private partnership. Currently,the Indian biopesticide market is estimated at $705 million in 2022 and growing at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.0%. These three bioformulations are expected to capture a significant share of the $477 million field crops and orchard-based biopesticide market, said Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, Principal Scientist and Scientist-in-Charge, Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) of the institute.

H. H. Sree Visakham Thirunal Endowment Lecture at CTCRI on 05June 2023

In acknowledgment of the significant and crucial role of His Highness Sree Visakham Thirunal in popularising the cultivation of cassava in Kerala, the Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC) along with ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram, annually organized “H.H. Sree Visakham Thirunal Endowment Lecture”. This endowment lecture annually is delivered by eminent scientists and technocrats from the field of Agricultural/ Biological Sciences on topics of contemporary significance. This year lecture is delivered by Padma Shri Prof. T. Pradeep, Institute Professor,IIT Madras, Chennai programme at Millennium Hall, ICAR-CTCRI on 05June 2023. The programme started at 10 am witha floral tribute to His Highness Sree Visakham Thirunal. Dr. T. Makesh Kumar, Principal scientist, delivered the welcome address. Dr. G. Byju, Director, in his presidential address highlighted about the importance of natural resources for existence of life. The guest of honour Prince Adithya Varma talked about the introduction of Tapioca from Brazil on 18th century and its establishment in Kerala. He emphasised importance of protecting the environment and to get a pollution free air and water for future and urged the students develop the culture of protecting the environment. Padma Shri Prof. T. Pradeep, Institute Professor,IIT Madras, Chennai, delivered the endowment lecture on ‘affordable clean water using nanomaterials.’ He explained about developed water purification system that works without expensive filtration membranes or electricity and their successful use in community water purification system. In this mechanism to remove the poisonous Arsenic content from water utilizing nanotechnology and about the patent for ‘Amrith’water filter, which purifies water at low cost. He also talked about the importance of developing new materials as sensors and opportunities as water quality measurement in future. The lecture was attended by the ICAR-CTCRI scientists and staffs, students from invited school. Dr. H. Kesava Kumar, Scientist proposed vote of thanks.

CTCRI organised brainstorming meeting on mealybugs in cassava

Institute organised one day brainstorming meeting on mealybugs infesting cassava at its Sreekariyam campus. Dr. S.C. Dubey, Assistant Director General (Plant Protection & Biosafety), ICAR, New Delhi and Dr. S.N. Sushil, Director, National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR), Bengaluru coordinated the programme which had three sessions besides inaugural session presided by Dr. G. Byju, Director, CTCRI. Five important topics were discussed by domain experts on (i) Hurdles in the management of mealybugs in agricultural crops (Dr. C.A. Jayaprakas, CTCRI), (ii) Management of mealy bugs using entomopathogenic fungi (Dr. O.P. Reji Rani, KAU), (iii) Mass culturing technique of cassava mealybug parasitoid, Anagurus lopezi (Dr. Sampath Kumar, NBAIR), (iv) Management of Paracoccus marginatus in cassava (Dr. M.T. Ranjith (KAU) and (v) Status of cassava mealybugs in Salem district and other cassava growing areas of Tamil Nadu and their management strategies (Dr. P.A. Saravanan, TNAU). Anagurus lopezi, the parasotoid brought from NBAIR was released at ICAR-CTCRI campus in severely mealybug infested cassava fields. The parasitoids were also handed over to officials of KVKs in Kerala as well as progressive farmers for distribution in their respective localities. The last session was a panel discussion moderated by Dr. S.N. Sushil and Dr. S.C. Dubay, Dr. G. Byju, Dr. M.S. Palaniswami (former project coordinator, AICRPTC), Dr. C.A. Jayaprakas, Dr. Reji Rani, Dr. Sampath Kumar and Mrs. Bindhu acted as panelists and interacted with all queries raised by different stakeholders. Dr. G. Byju. Director, CTCRI in his concluding remarks said that a policy document on Management of mealybugs infesting cassava will be prepared considering all the valuable suggestions and recommendations of the sessions and, after consultation with ADG (PP&B) and Director, NBAIR, will be published and submitted to council. Dr. Harish, Organising Secretary and Dr. S.S. Veena, Head (A), Division of Crop Protection coordinated the event.

23rd Annual Group Meeting of AICRP on Tuber Crops Held at BCKV, Kalyani, West Bengal

The 23rd annual group meeting (AGM) of All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops (AICRPTC) was organized during 10-12 May 2023 at Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa Vidyalaya (BCKV), Kalyani, West Bengal. Dr. A.K. Singh, Deputy Director General (DDG), Horticultural Science, ICAR, New Delhi was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the meeting. Dr. S.B. Goswami, Vice Chancellor, BCKV; Dr. S.K. Chakrabarti, Vice Chancellor, Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya (UBKV), West Bengal; Dr. Sudhakar Pandey, Assistant Director General (ADG), FVS&MP, ICAR; Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI; Dr. G.C. Hazra, Director of Research, BCKV; Dr. JayantaTarafdar, Professor & AICRPTC-in-Charge, BCKV and Heads of Divisions/Sections/Regional Station, ICAR-CTCRI and BCKV Officials attended the inaugural function. Scientists from 21 different centres spread across 18 states and Andaman & Nicobar Islands presented important achievements of thirty-nine different programmes undertaken during 2022-23 and made concrete recommendations in six technical sessions as well as in plenary session. Plan of action for 2023-23 were also discussed and finalized. A stakeholders interface was also organized as a part of the three days programme. Important highlights of the meeting are (i) recommendation to release 14 new varieties of different tuber crops for various traits and (ii) recommendation for inclusion in package of practices for different agro eco zones of (a) customized fertilizers for cassava and taro (b)organic production technology in cassava, (c) water saving technique in cassava and (iv) management of post-harvest rot in elephant foot yam both by organic and chemical means.

49th Annual Institute Research Council (IRC) meeting of ICAR-CTCRI

The ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute at its 60th year of inception has made significant contributions viz., development of 68 improved varieties, crop production practices including organic farming, SSNM, INM and good agricultural practices, protocols for quality planting material production, pests and diseases management packages, value added food and industrial products and ICT tools including crop growth models and decision support systems. The research projects have been playing an important role for the development of improved varieties; production, protection and value addition technologies; machineries; ICT tools, statistics and bioinformatics tools for meeting the demands of farmers and other stakeholders. The projects are being undertaken by the 42 Scientists of Crop Improvement, Crop Production, Crop Protection, Crop Utilization and Extension & Social Sciences. The 49th Annual Institute Research Council (IRC) meeting of ICAR-CTCRI was held during 17-20 April 2023. The meeting was inaugurated on 17 April 2023 by Dr. G. Byju, Director and Chairman, IRC. The Director made a presentation on Salient research achievements and targets of ICAR-CTCRI. During his inaugural speech, he congratulated all the scientists and other staff members for their dedication and commitment towards research programmes through which ICAR-CTCRI has bagged the 14th position in the ranking among 93 ICAR Institutes during 2022. The Chairman urged all the scientists to apply for external aided projects, publish research papers in high rated journals, generate revenue through technology commercialization, consultancy and sale of technological products besides undertaking research and extension programmes. The Director also informed that the scientists are expected to deliver ‘One Scientist One Product’ (OSOP) for which the Institute has recently published a document on ‘One Scientist One Product for the year 2023’ as per the suggestion by the Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR, New Delhi. Subsequently, under the Chairmanship of the Director, all the 42 projects under 8 Institute mega projects and 3 developmental projects viz., SCSP, TSP and NEH were presented by the project leaders in five sessions viz., Crop Improvement, Crop Production, Crop Protection, Crop Utilization and Extension and Social Sciences during 17-20 April 2023. Significant achievements and outputs of all the projects were thoroughly discussed and finalized the technical programme and targets for the year 2023-2024. Six new project proposals and 3 new experiments under ongoing research projects were presented and approved during the meeting. Twenty four externally aided projects of the Institute were also discussed during the meeting. The meeting was Chaired by Dr. G. Byju, Director and Co-chaired by Dr. J. Sreekumar, SIC, Extension & Social Sciences; Dr. S.S. Veena, Head (A), Crop Protection; Dr. A.N. Jyothi, SIC, Crop Utilization; Dr. G. Suja, Head (A), Crop Production; Dr. P. Murugesan, Head (A), Crop Improvement; Dr. K. Laxminarayana, SIC, RS, Bhubaneswar. Dr. T. Makeshkumar, SIC, PME Cell convened the meeting. Dr. D. Jaganathan, Senior Scientist and Member Secretary organized the 49th IRC meeting.

2nd Meeting of 9th Research Advisory Committee (RAC - IX)” Organized

The ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala organized the “2nd Meeting of 9th Research Advisory Committee (RAC - IX)” from 12th to 13th April, 2023. Dr. Sudhakar Pandey, ADG (Fruits, Vegetables, Spices & Medicinal Plants), ICAR provided various suggestions to improve different research activities of the Institute. Dr. N.K. Krishna Kumar, Former Deputy Director General (Horticultural Science) and Chairman, RAC and other members Dr S.K. Pandey (Ex-Director, ICAR-CPCRI, Shimla), Dr. K. Umamaheswaran(Ex-Professor, Kerala Agricultural University), Dr. Sanjaya Kumar Dash (Dean, College of Agrl.Engg& Tech., OUAT, Bhubaneswar), Dr. H. Philip (Ex-Director (Extension), TNAU, Coimbatore), Dr. G. Byju (Director, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram) and Dr. P. Murugesan (Member Secretary, RAC &Head (i/c), Division of Crop Improvement, ICAR-CTCRI) were participated in the meeting. Dr. P. Murugesan, Member Secretary, RAC presented the recommendations of the previous RAC and the Action Taken Report.The committee stressed upon the importance of commercialization of various tuber crop technologies. Also, it was suggested to prioritize tuber crop research for producing different animal feeds. Ten publications and products were released and a MoU was signed for transfer of technology on processing of tuber crop products with Madappally Block Vanitha Processing Industrial Co-Operative Society Ltd., Kottayam during the occasion.

Biofortified Sweet Potato and Millet Food Festival Organised at NEHU-TURA.

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram along with theIncubation Centre, North Eastern Hill University(NEHU), and Department of Agribusiness Management and Food Technology, Tura Campus, Meghalayahas organised a “Biofortified Sweet Potato and Millet Food Festival” on the theme “Converging the goodness of millets with healthy sweet potato”at Tura campus on 23rd March 2023. This food festival was organised under the “IndradhanushAahaar Abhiyaan” (Rainbow Diet Campaign) programme of ICAR-CTCRI as a part of the International Year of Millets Campaign to encourage the students to develop and promote innovative recipes by integrating millets and bio-fortified sweet potato. The “IndradhanushAahaar Abhiyaan” (Rainbow Diet Campaign) programme aims at combating malnutrition of tribal people of NEH region by integrating biofortified crops in their food system. Under this programme, Incubation Centre (MSME Incubator), at NEHU, Tura campus implementing “Svasth Khao SvasthRaho” scheme for developing and promoting innovative and local products from biofortified sweet potato. This food festival was inaugurated by Prof. Sujata Gurudev, Pro-Vice Chancellor of NEHU, Tura Campus in the presence of Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, Principal Scientist of ICAR-CTCRI, Prof. G. Singaiah, Former Pro-VC, Dr. Gino A. Sangma, Head, Department of Agri-Business Management and Food Technology, and Dr. R. Sasikumar, Nodal Officer, Incubation Centre (MSME Incubator), NEHU Tura Campus.During the inauguration, Prof. Sujata Gurudev said that integrating healthy foods like purple-fleshed sweet potato and millets is the key to address nutritional security in Meghalaya. She advocated development of recipes with high market value will catalyse business creation and growth. Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, during his address, explained that the orange-fleshed sweet potato variety Bhu Sona is rich in Vitamin A and its regular consumption will eradicate Vitamin A deficiency while anthocyanin-rich purple fleshed sweet potato variety Bhu Krishna has anti-cancer properties. Dr. Sasikumar showcased and elaborated on the recipes and explained their culinary and nutritional qualities. During the food festival, the students prepared twenty recipesby integrating purple fleshed sweet potato var. Bhu Krishna and millets. Few attractions include muffins, cakes, pakkodas, paratta, kheer, baked chips, and halwa. The food festival was attended by 50 stakeholders including govt officials, private companies, NEHU faculties, and students.

International Women's Day (IWD) 2023 Celebrated at ICAR- Central Tuber Crops Research Institute.

International Women's Day (IWD) 2023 is celebrated at ICAR- Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram on March 8th to create awareness for the social, economic, cultural, and political upliftment of women. The theme for this year’s Women’s Day, according to the United Nations, is "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality" and it aims to emphasise the importance of technology in bringing gender issues to light. Dr.G.Byju, Director ICAR-CTCRI in his presidential address pointed out that CTCRI has more than 30 percent strength of women employees and congratulated the women achievers of the Institute. He also declared a research excellence award for women employees for the next year. Smt. Silpa V Kumar, IFS, Conservator of Forest, Govt. of Kerala, the Chief guest of the programme in her speech stressed upon the importance of reducing the digital divide of about 38 per cent of the marginalized women in our society and the need to give importance of human Empowerment which will in turn lead to women Empowerment. She honoured the women achievers of the institute and distributed prizes to the winners of the competitions held during the celebrations. Dr. S.S.Veena, Principal Scientist, Chairperson, Women Welfare and Grievance Committee had given the welcome speech and Dr.Visalakhi Chandra, Scientist delivered Vote of Thanks.

International Seminar on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) organized by World IntellectualProperty Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with Indian Patent Office (IPO) at ICAR-CTCRI Thiruvananthapuram on 3 March 2023.

Indian Patent Office in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization conductedone day International Seminar on PCT at ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute on 3 March 2023to promote the awareness in respect of protecting the intellectual property and innovations globally through Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Dr. G. Byju, Director ICAR-CTCRI in his presidential address emphasized the importance of intellectual property rights for innovations. Ms. Lisa Jorgenson, Deputy Director General,Patents and Technology Sector, World IntellectualProperty Organization (WIPO), Geneva in her video address stated the increasing trend of patent filing in Asian countries and holding a share of 66 % of the world filing during 2022. At present the efiling system is cost effective and WIPO is committed to innovators for providing help in filing and protecting their rights globally. Ms. Christine Bonvallet, Director, PCT International, Cooperation Division, Patents and TechnologySector, WIPO, in her special address highlighted the steady growth of PCT filing in India in recent years and the growth of 60 % in last decade and the role of WIPO in achieving this. Mr. P.H Kurian, Chairman K-RERA and Ex CGPDEM, IPO in his inaugural speech emphasized the need of increase in patent filing in tune with the economic growth of India. In last year, Indianshare is only 2000 out of 2.78 lakhs globally. More innovation needs to come from R &D institutions and a share of the income from commercialization should pumpback to help patent filing. Mr.N.Ramachander, Joint Controller, Head PCT, IPO welcomed the participants and delegates. Dr.T.Makeshkumar, Principal Scientist, SIC PME Cell, ICAR-CTCRIdelivered vote of thanks. There were seven technical sessions handled by experts from WIPO & IP offices on an overview of the PCT system for international Patent Protection, use of PCT in our National perspective, functions of receiving office, the role of International Patent office as International Searchingand Preliminary Examining Authority under PCT, awareness to create their accounts and to access the ePCT system and other patent toolsfor Indian users and IPR management in in Agricultural Research. There were over 270 participants attended the Seminar.

ICAR-CTCRI Signed MoU with Uzhavoor Mythri Farmer Produccer Company.

The ICAR – Central Tuber Crops Research Institute has signed an MoU with the Uzhavoor Mythri Farmer Producer Company Limited March 1, 2023 to transfer the technology for commercial production of fried snack food from cassava. The MoU was signed by Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI with Shri. Georgekutty Joseph, Chairman, Uzhavoor Mythri FPC in the presence of Dr. A.N. Jyothi, Head, Department of Crop Utilization, Dr. T. Makes Kumar, , Scientist- in-charge, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of ICAR-CTCRI, Dr. M.S. Sajeev, Principal Scientist, Department of Crop Utilization & inventor, Dr. J. Sreekumar, Head, Department of Extension & Social Sciences, ICAR-CTCRI and Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, In-charge of ITMU of ICAR-CTCRI. . Uzhavoor Mythri Farmer Producer Company is a joint venture of Mannakkanad, Vayla and Ramapuram self-help farmers group of Uzhavoor block under the leadership of Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Kerala (VFPCK) of Agricultural Development and Farmers Welfare Department. They have registered office is in Kottayam, Kerala and will initiate commercial production of value-added products of cassava such as tapioca hot fries, tapioca hot sticks, tapioca Pakkavada, tapioca Crisps, fried chips, etc. using the technology of ICAR-CTCRI. They are planning to capture the health and wellness products market through tasty and healthy products of cassava prepared without adding artificial chemicals or colour.

National Science Day celebrations 2023 at ICAR-CTCRI

National Science Day celebrations was organized at ICAR-CTCRI, Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram on 28th February 2023, commemorating the great contributions of Noble laureate Sir. C.V. Raman. On the occasion, Science Exhibition was conducted on the theme ‘Bioenergy’for selected School/College students. Dr. G. Byju, Director of the institute on his presidential address, highlighted the importance of science in solving global issues faced by human and hoped that science will find a solution for the burning issues related to climate change. The chief guest Prof. Achuthsankar S. Nair, Professor & Head, Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Keraladelivered a lecture on ‘Global Science for Global Wellbeing’ and he emphasized the importance of machine learning in Science. He told anything can be learned by a machine and explained in detail with the current applications. Dr. Sujatha T.P., delivered the welcome address and Dr. J. Suresh Kumar proposed vote of thanks. Prizes were distributed to the winners of the science exhibition. The program was attended by the scientists, staff, and students.

Webinar on ‘Innovations in Agricultural Marketing – Experiences of NIAM and Strategies for Tuber Crops’

A webinar on ‘Innovations in Agricultural Marketing – Experiences of NIAM and Strategies for Tuber Crops’ in collaboration with Chaudhary Charan Singh National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Rajasthan was organized on February 09, 2023 to understand the roles and functions of NIAM and to discuss the scope for collaboration between NIAM and ICAR- CTCRI for strengthening tuber crops marketing sector. Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, delivered the presidential address and highlighted that tuber crops are grown in an area of about 4 lakh hectare with a production of 8.5 million tons in India and these crops are mostly grown by small and marginal farmers and disadvantaged population. He also emphasized that the major tuber crops like cassava and sweet potato are having a short and medium shelf life and price fluctuation occurs based on demand and supply which need to be addressed through technological and policy interventions. Dr. Shuchi Mathur, Assistant Director, CCS NIAM, Rajasthan delivered an expert lecture on “Innovations in Agricultural Marketing – Experiences of NIAM and strategies of tuber crops”. Detailed discussions on scope and possibilities for collaborations in the areas of training, education, research and startups were discussed. Dr. Sheela Immanuel, Principal Scientist, Section of Extension and Social Sciences welcomed the guests and participants. Dr. P. Prakash, Scientist and Dr. D. Jaganathan, Senior Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI moderated the session and Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI proposed the vote of thanks. Scientists, technical and project staff of ICAR-CTCRI participated in the webinar.

Visit of Dr. G. Byju Director, ICAR-CTCRI, & Project Coordinator, AICRP on Tuber Crops to AICRP on Tuber Crops centre at Ranchi, Jharkhand

Dr. G. Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI & Project Coordinator, AICRP on Tuber Crops visited Ranchi centre during 01-02, February, 2023. Along with Dr. Sengupta PI of the centre he visited experimental fields of AICRP on Tuber Crops, Ranchi and gone through details of various experiments, seed production and germplasm collection activities and suggested measures for promotion of on farm activities of the project. In his trip he visited Department of Horticulture, Integrated Farming System of BAU, Agril. Engg. Department and Plasticulture Engineering. He met Dr. O.N. Singh, Vice Chancellor of BAU University, and Dr. S.K. Pal, Director of the Research. He discussed on upcoming activities and promotion of AICRPTC, Rachi centre. He also presented them recent publications made by CTCRI. On 2nd Februay, 2023 he visited Choreya village of Chanho block, Ranchi district, Jharkhand. Attended awareness-cum – training programme of Sheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) of AICRP TC. In the training programme, he delivered a talk on scientific production technology of tuber crops. He suggested low cost technologies by which farmers can increase their farm income with the cultivation of tuber crops. He also distributed university fabricated small tools like maize sheller and grubber to the farmers. About 60 farmers were benefitted from this training.

Visit of Dr.G.Byju, Director ICAR-CTCRI to MPUAT, Udaipur

Dr.G.Byju, Director ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala visited AICRP on Tuber Crops centre MPUAT, Udaipur (Rajasthan) on dated 30.01.2023. He visited the experiments on greater yam, colocasia, elephant foot yam, sweet potato and germplasm collection at the centre. Dr. Virendra Singh, PI of the Project showed different treatment effects, results and activities of AICRP on Tuber Crops at the centre. He also visited experimental field & activities of AICRP on Floriculture as well as AICRP on Fruits at Horticulture Farm, Udaipur. A meeting of Dr. Ajeet Kumar Karnatak, Vice Chancellor, MPUAT, Udaipur and Dr. G. Byju, Director, CTCRI was also held in which present scenario of research achievements of CTCRI & MPUAT were discussed along with a consensus for mutual cooperation and collaborations between two institutes through MoU. Dr. G. Byju was welcomed as Guest of Honour in farmers training programme conducted under AICRP on Tuber Crops (SCSP Component) in which he saw the exhibition of different tuber crops at Directorate of Research, MPUAT, Udaipur. He highlighted about 68 varieties of different tropical tuber crops like greater yam, colocasia, elephant foot yam, sweet potato and cassava developed by CTCRI along with need of quality planting material and dissemination of climate resilient technologies. Dr. G. Byju also visited Organic Farming Unit & experiments under ICAR- AINPOF & RKVY on Organic Farming, Mushroom Unit and Soil Science Department, RCA, Udaipur.


A review meeting of the ongoing activities of 21 AICRP on Tuber Crops centres held on 27th January, 2023 from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm by the new Director ICAR-CTCRI & Project Coordinator, AICRP TC Dr. G. Byju. The new director & PC presented the overall achievements of the AICRPTC, and aspirations, action plan for next five years. He emphasised on 'One scientist - One technology" from this year onwards, along with good number of scientific publications. action plans for the collection of trait specific germplasm from bio-diverse niches, development of climate adaptable varieties and technologies for improving livelihoods of farmers. Individual centres made presentations of their activities and the action taken on recommendations of QRT and budget utilization. In his concluding remarks, Dr Byju , Director and Project coordinator suggested all centres to come out with an action plan for next five years and also to bring out a publication on "Achievements, action plan and aspirations of AICRP on Tuber Crops" in the forthcoming AGM.

Tuber crops day

The Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Bhubaneswar along with PREM (NGO) organized ‘Tuber crops day’ on 18.01.23 at Dimiripongala village, Mohana block, Gajapati district. Dimiripongala is a model village and free from alcohol consumption. Dr. N.K. Krishna Kumar, former DDG (Hort), ICAR, Bangalore, Chief Guest of the function and M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram planted a tree plant each in the village and inaugurated ‘Community Washing Centre’ and dedicated to Dimiripongala village. Then, Dr. N.K. Krishna Kumar inaugurated Exhibition wherein tribal farmers exhibit various products of tuber crops, millets, cereals, pulses, vegetables, honey etc. They also exhibited models of nutria-gardens (circular model, rectangular model and model for landless farmers). Mr. Siva prasad Acharya, Project manager, PREM (NGO) anchored the ‘Tuber crops day’ programme. Dr. K. Laxminarayana, Head, Regional Centre of ICAR-CTCRI, Bhubaneswar welcomed the delegates and tribal farmers and spoke about Regional Centre of ICAR-CTCRI activities and importance of root and tuber crops in food and nutrition. Dr. M. Nedunchezhiyan, Principal Scientist & PI (TSP), Regional Centre of ICAR-CTCRI, Bhubaneswarhas given brief about TSP activities in Odisha and specially in Gajapati district. In Gajapati district we have adopted 100 tribal farmers and distributed various tuber crops planting materials (Greater yam, elephant foot yam, taro, biofortified sweet potato varieties BhuSona and Bhu Krishna, yam bean, cassava), vegetable seeds, small implements (crow-bar, sickle, pick-axe, spade, sprayer and hand-hoe) for reducing drudgery in field operations and also chicks (10 nos. each farmers) were distributed to reduce malnutrition and livelihood improvement. Dr. M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI gave presidential address on ‘Role of root and tuber crops in livelihood improvement’. She also advised PI, TSP to distribute pumpsett to the tribal farmers for lift irrigation. She wished that few doctors should come out from these tribal villages. Dr. N.K. Krishna Kumar, Dr. M.N. Sheela and Mr. Jacob Thundyil distributed best tuber crops farmers award to five tribal farmers and five best tuber crops exhibits to the tribal farmers. Few number of tribal women farmers spoke about benefits accrued by them through TSP project. They expressed that their livelihood is increased due to tuber crops intervention along with vegetable and poultry farming. Dr. N.K. Krishna Kumar spoke about importance of tuber crops and livelihood of tribal farmers. He also stressed holistic development of villages through TSP. Mr. Jacob Thundyil, President, PREM (NGO) briefed about model village of Dimiripongala. It is alcohol free village having community computer center, solar lights, toilets for each household and education for all the children. He appreciated the contribution made by ICAR-CTCRI through TSP project. He also requested that next year TSP should be covered 500 tribal farmers in Gajapati district. In between the programme the tribal farmers recited tribal songs and also danced to the rhythm. Mr. Rajendra Dora, PREM, Project Co-ordinator proposed vote of thanks.


Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University has signed a MoU with the Agri-Business Incubator of the ICAR – Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram to create a Satellite Incubation Centre in the Industrial tapioca areas of Viluppuram and Namakkal districts. Tapioca is one of the prominent industrial crops cultivated mostly in Namakkal, Villupuram, Dharmapuri, Salem and Thiruvannamalai districts of Tamil Nadu. Tapioca is cultivated in 89610 hectares in Tamil Nadu with an annual production of 2862400 MT. About 80% of the cassava produced in India is used for industrial production of starch and sago primarily in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In the recent years, the tapioca farmers are facing serious challenges such as low market price for tubers, widespread crop damage caused by the mealy bug along with red mite, wild boars and rat damage to tubers. Considering the need to address these value chain problems through institutional collaboration, TANUVAS has signed an MoU with ICAR-CTCRI. This MoU was signed by Dr. N.K. Sudeep Kumar, Director of Extension Education, TANUVAS and Dr. M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI in the presence of Dr. K.N. Selvakumar, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of TANUVAS. Dr. P. Tensingh Gnanaraj, Registrar - TANUVAS, Dr. T. Makesh Kumar, Scientist-in-Charge – Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, and Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, In-charge, ICAR – CTCRI Agri-Business Incubator and several Deans/ Directors of TANUVAS were present on this occasion. As a follow-up, a planning workshop was organised for developing the joint work plan between TANUVAS and ICAR-CTCRI with a focus on promoting tapioca based animal feed in the Madras Veterinary University campus. Dr. N.K. Sudeep Kumar, Director of Extension Education, TANUVAS has inaugurated the workshop in the presence of Dr. M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, Dr. R. Karunakaran, Dean, Madras Veterinary College and faculties/ scientists from TANUVAS and ICAR-CTCRI. During the inaugural address, Dr Sudeep Kumar indicated that a collaborative approach for designing and implementing farmer-focused interventions will greatly help the tapioca farmers to combat the issues faced due to unstable market and climate change. Dr Karunakaran stressed the need for incorporating the locally-available materials like tapioca in the animal feed formulations to reduce the cost of livestock production. During the meeting, Dr. M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI has informed that ICAR-CTCRI has developed a wide range of tapioca technologies for human consumption, animal feed and industrial production and stressed the need promoting them to address the challenges faced by tapioca farmers. Dr. T. Makes kumar, Scientist-in-Charge, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of ICAR-CTCRI has explained about pest and disease management strategies, while Dr. R. Murugeswari, Assistant Professor has elaborated various tapioca based animal feed technologies developed by TANUVAS. Dr. P. Sethuiraman Sivakumar, In-charge of ICAR-CTCRI Agri-Business Incubator has explained about the structure and functions of Satellite Incubation Centre and he along with Dr. D. Thirunavukkarasu, Asst Professor, and TANUVAS conducted a brainstorming session to identify the farmers problems and to design technology-focused strategies to address those issues. During the planning workshop, a detailed plan of work for the Satellite Incubation Centre was identified while promotion of TANUVAS tapioca animal feed technologies, creating quality planting material production system in KVK for short duration and disease resistant tapioca varieties, establishment of a facility in KVK, Kallakurichi for production of parasitoid for managing mealy bug incidence and promoting technology development or validation based entrepreneurship were identified as priority areas for the Satellite Incubation Centre. Thirty stakeholders including TANUVAS faculty, KVK scientists and tapioca farmers from Kalalkurichi, Dharmapuri, Salem and Namakkal took part in the meeting.

NationalWebinaron‘GeneticResourcesofUnderutilizedTuberCropsforNutritional Security’

ICAR Central Tuber crops Research Institute along with ICAR-RC, NEHR, Meghalaya & College of Agriculture, Central University, Tripura, jointly organized a national webinar on ‘Genetic Resources of Underutilized Tuber Crops for Nutritional Security’ on 27th August 2022 via virtual mode. Dr. N. K. Krishna Kumar, Former DDG (Hort.,) chaired and Dr. Vikramaditya Pandey, ADG (Hort. Science) and Dr. M. N. Sheela, Director (A), co-chaired the sessions. Dr. Visalakshi Chandra C., Scientist ICAR CTCRI, welcomed the participants. Dr. P. Murugesan, ICAR-CTCRI, introduced and briefed about the status of underutilized tuber crops and aim of the webinar. Dr. Vikramaditya Pandey delivered a lead talk on ‘Unexplored genetic resources and prospects of tuber crops in NE & Eastern states of India.’ Dr. V. Arunachalam, ICAR-CCARI, Goa elaborated on ‘Exploration, collection, conservation and utilization status of tuber crops in West Coast and Lakshadweep Islands’. Dr. Augustine Jerard, ICAR- CIARI, Port Blair, A&N Islands talked on ‘Conservation & utilization of germplasm of tuber crops in A&N islands’. Dr. P. Murugesan, ICAR CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, presented on ‘Country Potato genetic resources and prospects in India’. Dr. N. K. Krishna Kumar, Chairman gave his valuable remarks on developing a prioritized action plan focussing on the popularization of underutilized tuber crops. He emphasized the inclusion of underutilised tuber crops for animal and fish feed. In addition, the chairman suggested trait specific collection of germplasm and wild relatives with commercial importance. A total of 100 participants including scientists and students from various ICAR institutes, SAUs and CU attended the meeting. Dr. Eknath Chakurkar, Director, ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair, Dr. S. K. Zamir Ahmed, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIARI, Dr. Sandhya Gupta, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NBPGR, were among the active participants who interacted during the technical session. The session concluded at 3PM with vote of thanks by Dr. Krishna Radhika N., Senior Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI.


The institute celebrated World water day 2022 on 22 March, 2022 on the theme “Ground water: Making the invisible visible”. The programme was held online and Mrs. Santy S.R., Hydrogeologist, Ground Water Department, Thiruvananthapuram district office, Govt. of Kerala delivered a talk on the theme, explaining the importance of ground water, sources, negative effects of ground water depletion, recharge techniques etc. Dr. M.N. Sheela, Director (Acting) gave a brief about the importance of water. She highlighted the importance of water deficit drought and the drought resistant nature of different tuber crops. Dr. S. Sunitha, Principal scientist, Crop Production, welcomed the participants and by Dr. J. Suresh Kumar, Scientist proposed the vote of thanks. There were 45 participants from ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, AICRP TC centres, farmers and students.


ICAR-CTCRI has organized a tuber crops planting festival and farm inputs and implements were distributed to identified beneficiary farmers belonging to below poverty line (BPL) scheduled castes in Mezhuveli panchayat, Pathanamthitta district on 5th March 2022. In a function organized at Karithotta, Mezhuveli, the farmers meet was inaugurated by Mrs. Veena George, Hon’ble Minister for Health, Women and Child Welfare. Speaking on the occasion, the minister has lauded the good efforts of ICAR-CTCRI in spreading its technologies among marginalized sections of the society and expressed her desire to expand the activities in other selected panchayats too. Dr.M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI delivered the keynote speech in which she elaborated various facets of ICAR-CTCRI technologies and extended all possible supports in future. Mrs. Pinky Sreedhar, President, Mezhuveli panchayat presided over the meeting. Sri. K.C. Rajagopalan, Ex. MLA, Sri. R. Ajayakumar, Member, District Panchayat, Sri. B.S. Aneeshmon, Member, Block Panchayat, Sri. S. Subhanandan, Member, Mezhuveli Grama Panchayat, Sri. T.V. Stalin, Assistant Director of Agriculture and Agricultural Officer, Mezhuveli graced the occasion by their presence and felicitations. Hon’ble minister has distributed 2500 kg elephant foot yam (Gajendra), 1500 kg greater yam (Sree Roopa), major, secondary and micronutrient fertilizers for preparation of customized plant nutrient formulations, Micronol microfood, vermicompost, PGPR I and II, AMF, Ayar, power sprayer, radio, spade, pick axe and crow bar to the beneficiary farmers under SCSP programme of the institute. Dr. G. Byju, Principal Scientist & Head (A), Division of Crop Production and the scientist implementing the project in the panchayat, in his welcome address, explained the importance of tuber crops in food security under changing climate and elaborated the aims and objectives of the project. Inauguration of planting of tuber crops was done by Dr. M.N. Sheela by planting elephant foot yam (Gajendra) in the field of a beneficiary farmer. Mrs. Pinky Sreedhar and Dr. G. Byju also participated among others.


Cassava is a staple food crop of approximately 800 million people and is grown in 95 countries worldwide. Cassava is affected by a diverse set of constraints, especially pests and diseases. Most notable among these are the virus diseases. A diverse group of virus species infect cassava in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Cassava mosaic geminiviruses (CMGs) causing cassava mosaic disease (CMD) in Africa and Asia and cassava brown streak viruses (CBSVs) causing cassava brown streak diseases (CBSD) in Africa are of economic importance. In order to take stock of the progress of research, an International webinaron Cassava viruses- Global status and strategies for disease control and prevention was organised by ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram on 12 August 2021. Dr. M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, welcomed the dignitaries, delegates and participants for the program The international webinar was inaugurated by Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR. During his inaugural address, he stressed the need to design, define, & implement strategies to prevent crop losses from viral diseases and stabilise production. He opined that the susceptible varieties predominantly grown in our country should be substituted with resistant cultivars on a large scale, or resistance should be developed on the background of those popular varieties. He also emphasised deploying newer biotechnological tools like CRISPR/CAS9 and RNA gene silencing to mitigate viral diseases. In his presidential address, Dr. A.K. Singh, DDG (Hort. Science), ICAR, emphasisedthe importance of viral diseases and their impact on cassava in the wake of the changing climate.He opined that the tropics and subtropics of India could utilise the knowledge from the experts from various parts of the world to meet different demands of cassava for food purposes& as a substitute for other industrial uses. He assured that the recommendations arising out from the deliberations of this webinar would be implemented in the ongoing research program for successful cassava production in India. Dr. Vikramaditya Pandey, ADG (Hort. Science-I), ICAR, Dr. Sunil Chandra Dubey ADG (Plant Protection & Biosafety) andDr. Stephan Winter, Head, Plant Virus Division, DSMZ, Germany offered felicitation. The inaugural session ended with the vote of thanks by organising secretary, Dr. T. Makeshkumar, Principal Scientist, Division of Crop Protection, ICAR-CTCRI. Totally 10 presentations were made on this webinar from different parts of world ( Three from India, one each from Colombia, Tanzania, Nigeria, UK, Germany, Belgium and Laos) on various aspects of cassava viruses and strategies to manage them. The topic covered includes status of cassava mosaic, cassava brown streak, diagnosis, phytosanitation, clean seed systems, resistance breeding, new biotechnological tools for management and exploiting resistance genes for begomovirus. The recommendations evolved from this webinar are survey and surveillance to be intensified for monitoring the emergence of new strain in cassava viruses, strict quarantine enforcement required to prevent the introduction of cassava brown streak disease from Africa to India, developing on site diagnostics tools for CMD and ICT based tools for field level identification, identification of host genes for CMD resistance as well as for other viruses, Clean seed system and rapid multiplication and distribution of planting material, Harmonisation of regulations for international exchange of germplasm to avoid ad hoc interpretation of regulations by the regulators. Genome editing approach for cassava virus resistance.


ICAR- Central tuber Crops Research Institute celebrated its 58th foundation day on 23rd July 2021. The function was organized in hybrid mode by following Covid protocol. Shri.P.Prasad, Hon. Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s welfare, Government of Kerala, inaugurated the function by watering an elephant foot yam plant. In his inaugural address the Hon. Minister reiterated that ‘A hike in agricultural production should not be a crisis to farmer, but there should be more utilization by value addition, enhanced storability and storage facility, and also a means to link the farmer with the market, not only national but also international.’ Minister also emphasized that India is looked up on by the multi nationals as agriculture friendly climate prevails here, all around the year, and scientists should put effort to prevent the agricultural sector from falling in to the hands of multinationals. The meeting was presided over by Dr. M.N. Sheela, Director(A), ICAR Central Tuber Crops Research Institute. During the function MoA for the commercialization of CTCRI technologies were handed over to the investors by the Hon minister in presence of the inventors. Awards for the best employees of ICAR-CTCRI as well as for the Farmers were distributed by Hon. Minister. He also released eight publications of ICAR-CTCRI. Other Six farmers from different parts of the country were felicitated in online mode. Dr. AK Singh DDG (Horticultural Science), ICAR, New Delhi delivered the keynote address. He stated that new varieties should be developed to satisfy future market needs as well as to increase profit. In case of tuber crops, target should be to substitute importing industrial starch by developing new varieties with enhanced starch production. Dr. Sheela Immanuel, Head, Section of Extension and Social Sciences, welcomed the gathering. Dr. Vikramadithya pande ADG(Horticultural Science), ICAR New Delhi and Smt. Bindu S.R., ward councilor, Cheruvikkal, gave special addresses. Prof.K.P. Sudhir, Executive Vice President, Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment, Thiruvananthapuram and Principal Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Government of Kerala delivered the foundation day lecture on the topic “Adaptation for Sustainable Water Management”. About 105 and 40 people participated in online and offline modes respectively. Dr. G. Byju Head (A), Crop Production Division proposed the vote of thanks.


The Awareness Campaign on Balanced Use of Fertilizers was organized by ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 18 June 2021 in virtual mode (Zoom and Facebook Live) in commemoration of 75th year of India’s Independence (Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav). The campaign was organized as per the directions received from the office of DDG (NRM), ICAR, New Delhi. Farmers, students, scientists, researchers, extension officials, input dealers and other stakeholders participated in the event. About 250 participants attended the live programme through Zoom platform and Facebook Live programme of ICAR-CTCRI. Dr. G. Byju, Organizing Secretary and Head, Division of Crop Production,ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, delivered the welcome address and introductory remarks. He highlighted the significance of the programme in view of Platinum Jubilee celebrations of our nation (Commemoration of 75th year of India’s Independence). He narrated the history of fertilizer industry in India, importance of fertilizers for agricultural production and objective of the campaign for balanced use of fertilizers for maximizing the productivity of crops by sustaining the soil health. He also read out the message given by Dr. Suresh Kumar Chaudhari, DDG (NRM), ICAR, New Delhi, during the occasion and highlighted the message ‘Govt. of India has launched the National Mission on Soil Health Cards to evaluate the soil fertility of soils across the country and to provide soil test-based fertilizer recommendations to farmers to ensure balanced fertilization in India. Dr. M. N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, delivered Presidential address. She highlighted the importance of soil health for agriculture with special emphasis on tropical tuber crops. She stressed the importance of soil and other natural resources for sustaining agricultural production and doubling of farmers’ income as envisioned by Govt. of India. Director also read out the message sent by Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR, New Delhi and emphasized the message ‘Soil test-based fertilizer management is indispensable to assure national food security, maintenance of soil health, enhancement of soil fertility and to leave a good heritage for the future generations’. The Chief Guest of the campaign, Dr. P. Rajendran, Chairman, Farmers Welfare Fund Board, Govt. of Kerala & Former Vice Chancellor, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, Kerala, inaugurated the event and delivered inaugural address. He congratulated the ICAR and ICAR-CTCRI for organizing much needed awareness campaign on ‘Balanced Use of Fertilizers’ for the benefit of farmers and other stakeholders. He stressed the importance of soil as a living entity and the source of life ‘Healthy soil-healthy plant-healthy animal-healthy human beings’. He further added that soil testing, judicious application of fertilizers and organic manures, organic recycling of crop residues and drip fertigation are the need of the hour for attaining food and nutritional security in the long run. The session on ‘Balanced fertilization, soil testing and soil health card’ was presented by Dr. K. Susan John, Principal Scientist (Soil Science), ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram. She highlighted essential nutrients for plant growth, source of nutrients, integrated nutrient management, nutritional deficiencies, method of soil sampling and soil testing and significance of soil health card (SHC) scheme implemented by Govt. of India, during the session. Dr. G. Suja, Principal Scientist (Agronomy), ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, handled the session on ‘Organic inputs: Composts, Green manures and Biofertilizers’. Importance of organic inputs in soil health management, nutrient content of organic inputs, use of composts, green manures and biofertilizers in soil health management of agricultural crops with special reference to tropical tuber crops were explained. She also narrated different schemes of Govt. of India for soil health management highlighting the scheme on Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY). The topic on ‘Crop residue management’ was dealt by Dr. V. Ramesh, Principal Scientist (Soil Science), ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram. Application of crop residues in different fields, problems and prospects of management of crop residues, preparation of biochar and importance of tillage and mulching in soil health management were explained by him. Dr. S. Sunitha, Principal Scientist (Agronomy), ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, dealt the session on ‘Drip fertigation’. Importance of judicious use of water and fertilizers, scope of drip fertigation in horticultural crops, advantages and challenges of drip fertigation and scheme on drip irrigation ‘Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) by Govt. of India, were discussed in detail during the session. After the technical session, there was very good interaction on the different aspects of ‘Balanced Use of Fertilizers’ viz., Time and method of soil testing, soil health card, nutritional deficiencies, importance of Carbon: Nitrogen ratio, preparation of biochar and procedure for availing subsidy for drip irrigation/fertigation were held among the experts and participants. Besides, all other queries related to the topic were answered in written mode through social media viz., Zoom and Whatsapp. Dr. D. Jaganathan, Senior Scientist & Convenor, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram facilitated the Scientist-Farmer interactive session. Dr. B. G. Sangeetha and Dr. Sanket J More, Scientists & Convenors, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, moderated the sessions. Dr. Sheela Immanuel, Organizing Secretary and Head, Extension and Social Sciences, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, highlighted the major discussions and interactions, who also proposed the vote of thanks at the end of the webinar. The farmers and other stakeholders expressed their satisfaction and demanded for more such programmes in future for making the agriculture ‘a profitable venture’ through technological interventions.


The institute observed 'World Water Day 2021' on 22nd March. Dr. C. George Thomas, Chairman, Kerala State Biodiversity Board was the Chief guest and he delivered a talk on the theme: "Valuing Water". Dr. V. Ravi, Director (A) , Dr. S .Sunitha, Principal Scientist and Coordinator of the programme, scientists, staff and students of the institute and beneficiary farmers of SCSP programme under All India Network Project on Organic Farming participated in the programme. Three progressive farmers, who are adopting effective water conservation measures and micro irrigation for cultivation of horticultural crops were felicitated during the occasion.


World Soil Day (WSD) 2020 was celebrated at ICAR-CTCRI on 5 December at 2.30 p.m. in the Golden Jubilee Hall of our Institute on virtual mode.

The programme started with ICAR theme song followed by welcome address by Dr. Susan John. K, Principal Scientist (Soil Science) and Nodal Officer of the Soil Health Card Programme. In her welcome speech, she stressed the need to keep the 'Soul of Infinite Life' (SOIL) (soil biodiversity) alive to promote and sustain all the geo biochemical processes in soil to occur efficiently so that the well being of all the inhabitants in the planet earth will be the best. Dr. V. Ravi, Acting Director, made the presidential address narrating the significance of soil and the soil biodiversity comprising of microfauna, and microorganisms, mesofauna, macrofauna and megafauna with invisible microbes ranging from bacteria, fungi to millipedes, centipedes to earthworms, toads, moles etc. in keeping the soil ecosystem alive and healthy and incidentally the entire life on the universe. The WSD pledge was administered by the Director on the occasion. The theme lecture on the tpoic ' Agro Residues to Keep the Soil Alive' befitting to this year's WSD theme ' Keep Soil Alive, Protect Soil Biodiversity' was given by Dr. Murali Gopal, Principal Scientist (Agricultural Microbiology), ICAR-CPCRI highlighting topics like soil biodiversity in maintaining and sustaining soil health, recycling technologies for palm and cocoa biomass residues, unravelling their microbiology and impact on soil health through meta genomic studies, developing PGPR and mycorrhizal inoculants for coconut and cocoa, whole genome sequencing of the PGPR's and microbial control of coconut insect pests and on transferring of soil and plant health rejuvenating technologies to farming communities. Dr. V. Ramesh, Principal Scientist and Convenor of the programme expressed vote of thanks and Dr. Sanket J More, Scientist and Coordinator of the programme compared the programme. As we have given good publicity, the meeting was attended by scientists from IISR, Calicut and some extension personnel from Department of Agriculture, Government of Kerala. The meeting came to a close at 4.15 pm.


Constitution day 2020 was celebrated at ICAR-CTCRI by organising reading of preamble and two expert talks. The programme also marked the culmination of year long celebration of the 70th anniversary of adoption of THE CONSITUTION OF INDIA from 26.11.2019 to 26.11.2020. Constitution day celebrations on 26.11.2020 was organised in virtual mode by following SOPs of COVID-19.The session started by preamble reading by Dr V. Ravi, Director (A), including all the staffs of the institute. Dr K. Sunilkumar, chairman of the Constitution celebration committee welcomed the guests. The Director of ICAR-CTCRI in his the presidential address has urged staff members to rededicate themselves for the well being of farmers especially tuber crop farmers during this occasion of constitution day. The Chief guest Justice M. R. Hariharan Nair, Former Judge, High Court of Kerala delivered an expert talk on “The Constitution and Social Inclusion”. The importance of various Articles in the constitution for the support and welfare of various community was also elaborated through his talk. The 103rd amendment of the constitution was discussed in detail which provided for upliftment of the Economically Weaker Sections among the forward communities who do not enjoy any other reservations. Dr. K. S. Ajay Kumar, Professor, Mar Gregorios College of Law and Former Principal, Government law college, Thiruvananthapuram delivered another expert talk on “A Common Man’s Approach to the Constitution of India”. In his lecture he has given thrust for the importance about the law which protect national – international relationship among the countries and the need to respect and follow the constitution of the country. The important role of constitution to ensure justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to all the citizens was elucidated through his lecture. He also narrated the significance of “Naturae vis maxima”, meaning the force of nature is greatest in world. The lecture was concluded by explaining some of the important basic rules and laws needed for every man’s daily life. There was also an interactive/discussion session arranged with the staff members of ICAR-CTCRI. All the staff members of ICAR-CTCRI participated in the session. The session was concluded by vote of thanks by Dr. H. Kesava kumar, Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI and member, Constitution day committee. The year long celebrations was organised by the committee constituted by the director for the purpose consisting of scientists Dr. Visalakshi Chandra, Dr H. Kesavakumar and Dr B.G. Sangeetha as members and Dr.K.Sunilkumar, Principal Scientist as chairman.


ICAR-CTCRI organized International Webinar ‘Harnessing the Potential of Tropical Tuber Crops’ - HPTTC 2020

Anthropogenic activities mediated global warming is creating enormous changes in the weather parameters, resulting into significant climate change giving rise to the extreme events like flooding, drought, high temperature stress, salinity stress and unpredicted rainfalls. Such events could have a catastrophic effect on the food and nutrition security. Tropical Tuber Crops are one of the reliable resorts to mitigate the climate change related issues. In this context an International Webinar on Harnessing the Potential of Tropical Tuber Crops under Changing Climate (HPTTC 2020) was organized on 27 October 2020 by ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Kerala, India, to have an insight into the role of Tropical Tuber Crops as food security crops under variable climates. Chief Guest of the Webinar Dr. A.K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticultural Science), ICAR, New Delhi, India, inaugurated the Webinar, emphasising on the role of Tropical Tuber Crops in mitigating climate change consequences.He has also given thrust for conserving natural resources and sustainability in view of climate change. Dr. Vikramaditya Pandey, Assistant Director General (Horticultural Science), ICAR, in his special address highlighted the significance of Tropical Tuber Crops. Dr. V. Ravi, Director, ICAR-CTCRI and the Chairman, HPTTC 2020, briefed about the technical sessions in his Introductory remarks. A total of 958 participants, 890 from India and 68 from 21 different countries viz, Australia, Nepal, Cambodia, Nigeria, Colombia, Philippines, Ethiopia, Poland, Fiji, Sierra Leone, Ghana,Tanzania, Indonesia, Thailand, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, United Kingdom, Morocco, USA and Mozambique registered for the event and more than 300 delegates and participants attended the Webinar. Lead talk was given by Dr. Jan W. Low, World Food Prize Laureate and Principal Scientist at International Potato Centre, CIP, Nairobi Centre, Kenya, wherein she stressed the calibre of climate-resilient orange-fleshed sweet potato in combating hidden hunger and malnutrition thereby uplifting the socio-economic status of the people of Sub-Saharan African regions. Further, she added that orange-fleshed sweet potato should be integrated into diverse cropping systems, soil conditions and future breeding programmes with an effort to target specific agro-ecologies and consumer segments. Lead talk was followed by three technical sessions viz. Crop Improvement and Breeding Strategies, Integrated Crop and Soil Management and Plant Health Management. At the outset, Dr. M.N. Sheela, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Crop Improvement, ICAR-CTCRI, a world renowned cassava and yam breeder, briefed about the achievements of Crop Improvement programmes and breeding strategies on Tropical Tuber Crops. Lecture of Dr. Amele Asrat, Yam Breeder, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria, was focused on identifying the yield enhancing traits in yams and the approaches to diffuse the same in the breeding programmes. Dr. Imran Malik, Cassava Production Systems Specialist at Asia Regional Office of International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Vientiane Centre, Lao PDR, pinpointed the agronomy and management strategies for the enhancement of cassava productivity and profitability under variable climatic scenarios. Dr. Joy G. Adiele, Systems Agronomist at National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Abia, Nigeria, discussed on Modelling Nutrient Demand and Uptake in LINTUL-Cassava-NPK. Dr. Arthur Villordon, Professor, Sweet Potato Research Station College of Agriculture Louisiana State University, Louisiana, USA, deliberated upon the Root System Architecture (RSA) changes in response to resource availability gradients: the missing link in sink strength determination in sweet potato. Dr. C.A. Jayaprakas, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Crop Protection, ICAR-CTCRI, enlightened the participants regarding development of eco-friendly strategies to manage emerging pests in Tropical Tuber Crops under changing climate. Subsequently, Dr. M.L. Jeeva, Principal Scientist, Division of Crop Protection, ICAR-CTCRI, gave a brief update on potential strategies to mitigate emerging diseases of tropical tuber crops. Dr. G. Byju, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI and Convener, HPTTC 2020 delivered the welcome address. The International Webinar was co-ordinated by Dr. Sanket J. More, Scientist, ICAT-CTCRI and Organizing Secretary, HPTTC 2020. The technical sessions were moderated by Dr. G. Suja, Dr. A. Asha Devi and Dr. S. S. Veena, Principal Scientists, ICAR-CTCRI. Dr. D. Jaganathan, Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI and Convener, HPTTC 2020, proposed the vote of thanks. The highlights and recommendations will be brought out in the form of proceedings for furtherance of research and development programmes by Scientists and other stakeholders across the globe. The Webinar came to an end at 8.00 PM IST.



Constitution Year is being celebrated from 26 November 2019 to 26 November 2020 in connection with 70th year of the Indian constitution. As part of these celebrations, an awareness programme was organized at ICAR-CTCRI on January 10th 2020 at 10 am in the Millennium hall. Main attraction of the programme was an expert talk on “Constitution and Fundamental Duties”. Justice M. R. Hariharan Nair, Former Judge, High Court of Kerala was the chief guest for the programme. Dr K. Sunilkumar, Principal Scientist and Chairman of Constitution Committee welcomed the dignitaries and participants to the programme and gave brief account of the importance of observance of constitution year. The programme was chaired by Dr V. Ravi, Director (A) ICAR-CTCRI. Dr V. Ravi, in his presidential address stressed the need for awareness of citizens’ duties in addition to the Fundamental rights. The expert talk was delivered by Justice M. R. Hariharan Nair regarding fundamental duties of the citizens. According to him, citizen duties should be observed by each one in everyday life. He also informed that unlike citizen rights, the fundamental duties are not made as legal provisions and hence cannot be challenged in courts. There was also an interactive/discussion session followed by the talk. All the staff members of ICAR-CTCRI consisting of scientists, technical staff, administration and accounts, supporting and project staff participated in the session. In his lecture he has given thrust for the importance about the duties of government staff and all also about the importance and the need to respect constitution and national symbols. It was emphasized by the speakers that many of the present day problems could be solved provided, every individual citizen follows his fundamental duties. Waste disposal, environment conservation were some of examples cited. The session was co-ordinated by Dr Visalakshi Chandra,C., Dr. B.G. Sangeetha and Dr.H. Kesavakumar , the members of the Constitution committee. The programme came to an end with vote of thanks by Dr. B.G. Sangeetha.



ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute hosted the Annual Review meeting (2018-2019) of the “ICAR-Consortium Research Platform on Vaccines and Diagnostics” at Thiruvananthapuram during 29 to 30 January, 2020.
Dr. Joykrushna Jena, Deputy Director General (Animal Sciences and Fisheries) in his inaugural address stressed the need and importance of diagnostics and vaccines in order to meet the challenges posed due to climate change and emergence many new diseases. He insisted all the PIs to concentrate more on innovative diagnostic strategies and vaccination technologies for the health of plant/ animal/ fish. In view of wide usage, he also emphasizes the commercialization of the effective technologies and how effectively it could be taken to farmers.
Dr. Ashok Kumar, ADG (Animal Health) urged the need for assessing the impact of technologies compared to the existing and need to formulate projects involving agriculture, veterinary and fisheries sectors for the next five years based on the outcome of the present one and future requirement.  
The Director ICAR-CTCRI , Dr. V. Ravi, in his presidential address mentioned the need for diagnostics to develop strategies for healthy planting material production especially for the vegetative propagated crops for distributing to the beneficiaries in various programmes.
The achievements during the reporting period and the future programme of totally 38 projects were presented in different sessions by the concerned PIs/Co-PIs from 16 ICAR institutes of agriculture (7), animal (4 ) and fisheries (5 ) sectors. 

constitution day

Constitution day celebrations 2019 at ICAR-CTCRI
The constitution day celebrations at ICAR-CTCRI initiated with the formation of a Committee by the director to coordinate various events and competitions in connection with constitution day. As a part of the constitution day celebrations, a banner was displayed at the entrance of the Institute for view of the general public. An elocution competition on “Constitution in everyday life” was conducted on 22.11.2019 followed by quiz competition regarding Indian constitution was also conducted on 25.11.2019. All the staff and students of ICAR-CTCRI participated in the above mentioned events.
On 26.11.2019, the 70th Constitution day , Director Dr. Jayaprakash C.A, Director chaired the function and addressed the staff about the importance of the Day. Further, an expert talk on “Constitution of India-Prominent Features” was delivered by chief guest Dr. Lekshmi Nair, Director, Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Former Principal, Kerala Law Academy Law College, Thiruvananthapuram to create awareness about the various articles, schedules and rights of our constitution. She also explained the fundamental rights of Indian citizens to the audience and in addition she emphasised the importance of realising the responsibility of citizens towards the constitution and governance.  The talk was followed by mass reading of the ‘Preamble’ lead by Dr. Jayaprakas C.A, Director (i/c) by all the staff of the institute.
Dr. Sunilkumar K, Principal Scientist and nodal officer gave brief introduction about the programme and welcomed the participants and  Dr. Visalakshichandra, C, member secretary proposed vote of thanks at the end.
In addition, the brochure of Constitution Day celebration from Govt of India depicting fundamental duties and quotes of stalwarts behind the creation of constitution was displayed in institute notice board.

ICAR-CTCRI celebrated 56th Foundation Day
ICAR-CTCRI celebrated 56th Foundation Day on Saturday, 27 July 2019 at 10.30 am in the Institute. Shri. Justice (Retd.) P. Sathasivam, Honourable Governor of Kerala, the Chief Guest of the function, inaugurated the Foundation Day. Shri. Justice (Retd.) P. Sathasivam also inaugurated the Farmers Facilitation Centre and Solar Roof Top Project in the campus. A publication titled “ICAR-CTCRI a look at its journey” was released and Best Employee Awards were presented by the Hon’ble Governor. In his inaugural address, he was proud to inform the audience that he belongs to the farming community. He mentioned that India’s soul rests in its villages. He emphasized that agriculture should not be considered just as an occupation, but as a means to ensure food and nutritional security. He also added that the key to food security is to “strengthen the primary sector”. He apprised the importance of integrating roots and tubers for sustainable livelihoods under the scenario of global climate change. He urged the scientific community that research should offer significant long-lasting solutions for the farmers to bank upon. He also exhorted to reduce the “distance” between policies and scientific research to ensure better access to benefits and research outputs for the farmer. Hon’ble Governor also stressed upon the need for “credible technologies” to ensure better health, wealth and inclusive growth for farmers. He said that the Farmers Facilitation Centre will serve as a single window delivery system for providing technological inputs and services to the farmers and other stakeholders. He also appreciated the newly installed energy saving solar power project. Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE & Director General, ICAR presided over the function. In his presidential address he reiterated the urgent need for doubling the farmers income (DFI) by 2022, the flagship programme of Govt. of India. The ICAR has adopted two villages in every district, thus covering 1400 villages for DFI. He elaborated the action plan for doubling the farmer’s income through advanced technological interventions for minimising the farm inputs to reduce the production cost. To achieve this, he focussed on various strategies like crop diversification, efficient use of water by drip irrigation, fertigation, water conservation measures to reduce water foot print, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and sustainable integrated farming system models, use of solar energy and sensor technology in agriculture. Further, in this context, he also mentioned about the Jal Shakthi Abhiyan of Govt. of India covering 256 water stress districts as a welcome step. He also appreciated the newly installed energy saving solar power project. Dr. Mohapatra also informed that greater emphasis should be given on biofortification of crops to improve the nutritional quality. The ICAR has released 35 biofortified varieties, including two varieties of sweet potato, Bhu Sona and Bhu Krishna, enriched with beta carotene and anthocyanin respectively. Finally he concluded that the benefits of the technologies should also be translated through strong research-farmer-industry-consumer continuum. Dr. Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticultural Science), ICAR, New Delhi, offered the special address. He highlighted that tuber crops contributed 6% of the total vegetable production of the country. Research should focus on development of biofortified varieties, technologies for DFI and strategies to combat malnutrition and poverty. He appreciated the efforts of the Institute in developing 67 varieties and 30 technologies. Dr. Archana Mukherjee, Director, ICAR-CTCRI delivered the welcome address and Dr. V. Ravi, Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Crop Production proposed the vote of thanks. The exchange of MoUs between the Start-up entrepreneurs and ICAR-CTCRI and honouring of the Start-up entrepreneurs were the other highlights of the programme. Exhibition stalls showcasing the various activities of ICAR Institutes in Kerala were also arranged during the occasion. About 75 farmers participated in the Foundation Day Celebrations and visited the research laboratories, fields and interacted with the Scientists of ICAR-CTCRI and other ICAR Institutes in Kerala.
One day Seminar on Tuber Crops in Andhra Pradesh
The Institute has organised one day Seminar on ‘Improved Technologies of Horticultural Crops with Special Reference to Tuber Crops’ at Ryali, Atreyapuram Mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on 1st August 2019, in collaboration with Dr. YSR Horticultural University, Venkataramannagudam, AP. Dr. B.V.K. Bhagwan, Head, HRS, Dr. YSR Horticultural University, Kovvur inaugurated the seminar and released two technical leaflets about ‘Agrotechniques of tuber crops’ in Telugu and English. Soil health cards were also distributed to the farmers. Dr. G. Byju, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI presided over the inaugural session. Classes on different topics related to the region were taken by Dr. G. Ramanandam, Head, HRS, Dr. YSR Horticultural University, Ambajipeta; Dr. N.B.V. Chalapathi Rao, Principal Scientist, HRS, Dr. YSR Horticultural University, Ambajipeta; Dr. K. Ravindra Kumar, Scientist, HRS, Kovvur; Dr. D. Jaganathan, Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI; Dr. A.V.V. Koundinya, Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI; Mr. R. Devanand Kumar, Asst. Dir. (Hort), Amalapuram; Mr. P.B.S. Amarnath, Hort. Officer, Kothapetta and Mrs. M. Babitha, Hort. Officer, Inavilli. Officials from Mondelez International and Aries Agro Pvt. Ltd. Also attended the meeting. About 120 farmers participated in the one-day seminar. East Godavari district is famous for elephant foot yam, yam and cassava cultivation. High yielding varieties, agrotechniques, crop protection measures and scope for value addition were discussed. The Asst. Director, Horticulture expressed their interest in learning the processing technologies and informed that a group of young farmers will be sent to ICAR-CTCRI for training at Techno Incubation Centre. Customised fertilizers and micronutrient formulations for site specific nutrient management (SSNM) of elphant foot yam and yams being tested under FLDs and OFTs in the region will have to be popularised and made available commercially for profitable farming.
The 10th H.H. Sree Vishskhan Thirunal Endowment Lecture

Indian Society for Root Crops and ICAR-CTCRI jointly conducted the 10th H.H. Sree Vishskham Thirunal Endowment Lecture on 15th June 2019, 10.30 AM at ICAR-CTCRI, Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram. Dr. M.N. Sheela, Secretary, ISRC welcomed the gathering. The endowment lecture was delivered by Padmavibhushan Dr. B. N. Suresh, Professor & Hon’ble Chancellor, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology. In his lecture, he deliberated how space science can modernize agricultural technologies to improve the productivity and doubling of farmers’ income. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. A. K. Singh, Hon’ble DDG (HS & CS), ICAR, New Delhi. Hon’ble Prince Aditya Varma, Kowdiar Palace, Thiruvananthapuram who has keen interest in agriculture and farming was the guest of honour. Dr. V.P. Singh, South East Asian representative of CIAT, New Delhi, Dr. N.K. Krishnakumar, Former DDG (ICAR) & representative of Bioversity International, New Delhi, Dr. T. Janakiram, ADG (HS-1) gave felicitation addresses. The event was presided over by Dr. Archana Mukherjee, Director, ICAR-CTCRI and President ISRC. Scientists from 21 different AICRP-TC centres spread across 18 states and 1 union territory of the country are special invitees for the function. The meeting concluded with the vote of thanks.

Tuber Crops Technology Conclave and Agri-Startup Meet 2017

Tuber Crops Technology Conclave and Agri-Startup Meet 2007 inaugurated by honourable Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri. V. S. Sunil Kumar, at ICAR- Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram on October 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kerala, In his inaugural address, the minister told that agriculture scientists should focus on developing farmer centric, low cost technologies. Shri. Teeka Ram Meena IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture and farmers, explained about Centre-State Interface. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana project on "Popularization of Climate Resilient and Nutritionally Rich Varieties of Tuber Crops for Economic Development and Nutritional Security of Farmers of Odisha" was lanched by Shri. Bhaskerjyoti Sarma IAS, Special Secretary, Department of Agriculture and farmers Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha. Dr. T. Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR New Delhi, presided over the function. In this programme, several publications and documentary on cassava based biopesticide were released. And also memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the different Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) of Kerala and ICAR-CTCRI on cassava based biopesticide. Dr. Archana Mukherjee, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, welcomed the gathering and Dr. James George, project coordinator, AICRP on TC, ICAR-CTCRI, proposed vote of thanks.


Dr. Archana Mukherjee, Director, ICAR-CTCRI has bagged the prestigious PANJABRAO DESHMUKH OUTSTANDING WOMAN SCIENTISTS AWARD 2016 instituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi . We the staff members of ICAR-CTCRI congratulate our Director for receiving the award.

54th Foundation Day Celebration

ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR - CTCRI), Sreekariyam celebrated its 54th Foundation Day on 29 July 2017. Shri. Teeka Ram Meena IAS, Principal Secretary (Agriculture) and Agricultural Production Commissioner, Government of Kerala inaugurated the programme and delivered inaugural address. In his address, the Chief Guest appreciated the scientists and other staff members of ICAR-CTCRI for their contributions made in tropical tuber crops sector. He emphasised the need for developing demand driven and farmer friendly technologies to make the farming profitable. He also urged the scientists to take the technologies from lab to land for the benefit of farmers and other stakeholders. Smt. K. C. Rugmini Devi, Managing Director, Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium and Shri. Ravinder Jit Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Agri Innovate India offered felicitations. Soil health cards were distributed to the farmers of adopted villages under Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav initiative of ICAR-CTCRI. Website on soil health card developed by the institute was also launched during the occasion which will help farmers to access the details online. Dr. Archana Mukherjee, Director, ICAR- CTCRI delivered presidential address and highlighted the major achievements of the Institute which led to the development of tropical tuber crops in the country. During the celebration, retired employees of the institute were honoured on recognition of their contributions for the development of tuber crops across the country. Scientist-farmer interface for enhancing the economic viability of tuber crops farming was organized in which more than 150 farmers and other stakeholders participated. Demonstrations, field visits and exhibition on improved varieties, technologies for production, protection and utilization of tuber crops were also arranged for the benefit of farmers and other stakeholders. Dr. James George, Project Coordinator (Tuber crops) welcomed the gathering and Dr. Sheela Immanuel, Head, Section of Extension and Social Sciences proposed vote of thanks. Dr. Santhosh Mithra, Principal Scientist coordinated the programme.

National Productivity Week Celebration ; Theme : “From waste to profits through Reduce, Recycle and Reuse"

The “National Productivity Week” was celebrated at ICAR-CTCRI from 12-18 February, 2017 at the Institute Head Quarters at Thiruvananthapuram. The inaugural ceremony was flagged off by Dr. Janakiram, Assistant Director General (Horticulture) on 13.02.2017 at ICAR-CTCRI. A series of competitions were held for the staff and students of the Institute on the theme Waste to Profits. On 18th February the valedictory function was conducted at the Institute. Shri. L.P.Chither, Director, Suchitwa Mission, Government of Kerala was the chief guest. He elaborated on the waste management measures taken by the Kerala State government to reduce, recycle and reuse waste in Kerala. Mind set change in the people is the need of the hour to minimise waste and to reduce environmental pollution. He also stressed that mass awareness need to be created among the common man about the harmful effects of throwing and burning wastes. People should take initiatives to make a green Kerala. Dr. James George, Director, ICAR-CTCRI in his welcome address explained about the activities taken by the organisation to reduce waste and also he explained about the activities taken under the banner of the Swatch Bharat programme by the Institute. He also stated that most of the wastes generated by the experimental field / laboratories in the Institutes are recycled. Prizes were also distributed to the winners of the competition in this occasion. Dr.Sheela Immanuel, Principal Scientist & HoD delivered the vote of thanks. The programme was attended by the scientists, students and other staff members of the Institute.

Sri. Sudarshan Bhagat, Hon’ble Union Minister Of State For Agriculture And Farmers Welfare, Government Of India Visited ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram and “Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav” Model Farm in Thiruvananthapuram

Sri. Sudarshan Bhagat, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India visited ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram on 28th January 2017.The minister inaugurated the precision water and nutrient management facility as a part of ‘More crop per drop’ research programme of the Institute to fulfill the objective of the hon’ble Prime Minister’s dream programme of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop' in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities.The Institute has developed drip fertigation technology for tropical tuber crops and is being implemented in the farm to save the precious water and nutrients.

The minister has visited the farm of the Institute and made a review of the work done and facilities available at the Institute such as germplasm conservation, Techno Incubation Centre, E- crop, biopesticides laboratory and transgenics laboratory.The minister also had a glance of the display of 53 varieties of tropical tuber crops that the Institute has developed over the past 53 years of its existence which were exhibited in the Crop Museum of the Institute.

The minister also inaugurated the cashless transaction facility at the Institute as well as distributed planting materials of tropical tuber crops to the selected model farmers for on-farm demonstration of ICAR-CTCRI technologies under the ‘Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav’ programme of the government. The ‘Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav’ programme has been conceptualized in which scientists of ICAR-CTCRI have identified 40 villages in the vicinity of the Institute and regularly providing advisories and consultations to farmers for increasing farm productivity and production.

The minister also made a review of the various activities of the Institute by having a discussion with heads of divisions (HODs), sections, Senior Administrative Officer and Finance and Accounts Officer. An exhibition of the different technologies and varieties released by the Institute was also arranged and the minister visited the exhibition and had discussion about the different technologies and varieties.