ICTRT 2013

The tropical root and tuber crops (cassava, sweet potato, yams, aroids and other minor tuber crops) are food and nutritional crops with adaptation to marginal environments. They form important staple and are major source of energy especially in developing countries with rapid population expansion. These crops are expected to contribute significantly to the socio economic security of the people in the tropics in the coming decades particularly under the changing climate.

Tuber crops are also medicinally important and preferred as health foods due to the presence of neutraceuticals and antioxidants. Besides, there is immense scope for commercial exploitation in food, feed and industrial sectors. Presently opportunities for production of biofuels from these crops, especially cassava, are being explored. However, low productivity, limited value addition and poor access to markets due to their perishable nature are some of the issues that are still to be addressed. Since all tropical root crops are vegetatively propagated and certification is not common, systemic diseases are also problematic. Some of these crops remain under exploited and deserve considerably more research input.

The present conference will provide a platform to address and discuss the recent developments in the production, utilization and marketing of roots and tubers in the context of global climate change and formulate strategies and collaborative action plan to exploit the potential and contribute to development.

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APJ Speech - Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Central Tuber Crops Research Institute
Birth of happy, prosperous and enlightened human life

ICAR-CTCRI is indeed a partner in food security and thereby national development I am delighted to participate in the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram. My greetings to ICAR-CTCRI management, members and employees, staff and large family gathering of ICAR-CTCRI and the distinguished guests. What does Golden Jubilee Celebrations of ICAR-CTCRI means? That means ICAR-CTCRI is in the earth, earth takes one year to orbit around the sun. That means ICAR-CTCRI has orbited around the sun 50 times. My greetings to all of you on the occasion of Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

I am happy that you are the only institute of its kind in the world, exclusively working mainly on the basic and applied research on different aspects of edible tropical tuber crops which are bestowed with resilience to global warming and climate change, potential for better return under adverse soil and weather conditions, diverse industrial applications and nutritional attributes, and most of all exceptionally high CO2 fixation potential. My greetings to the ICAR-CTCRI team for releasing 47 varieties of different tuber crops with high yielding potential with the assured world highest productivity of 36 tonnes per hectare. It is note worthy to mention that the major share being occupied by cassava and sweet potato with the value addition including nutritionally fortified snack foods, technology for fried chips manufacture, and technology for minimal processing of cassava for exporters and commercialization of value added food is getting more attraction which creates number of entrepreneur in this field. Tuber crop products has got tremendous potential for value addition, so that the income of the farmers can be increased. The value addition from the crop to product can be planed through cooperative movement. The document on Vision 2030 of ICAR-CTCRI is a very important document. I am sure, you will succeed with your mission, particularly biofuel generation that is ethanol. Both cassava and sweet potato have tremendous potential for value addition and farmers have to get involved from farming to value added products through cooperative movement methodology. My greetings to all of you for the success in science and technological mission towards the development of tuber crops and its related products for sustainable development of the nation.

I am happy to note that the event has been named as "The Awakening" since ICAR-CTCRI is celebrating the Golden Jubilee with your employees and their families. Yes the society needs an awakening. Let me share some thoughts on the Birth of happy, prosperous and enlightened human life.

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