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.

Agricultural Technology Meet – 2016

Technology Week Celebrations of ATMA is being conducted jointly by Agricultural Technology Management Agency, Thiruvanathapuram and ICAR-CTCRI at Sreekariyam during 19th December to 21st December 2016. The programme was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran, Devaswom, Tourism and Co- Operation, Government of Kerala today. In his address, he remarked that agriculture in the state is undergoing a revival phase in recent times, which is evident from the feedbacks received from farmers. He also exhorted the farmers to adopt modern technologies and techniques available with the research institutions that would enhance the yield of their crops. He reiterated the need for farmers to learn new methods for diversification in agriculture and value addition to farm products to double the farm income. The presidential address was delivered by Dr. James George, Director, ICAR-CTCRI. The councilor Shri Alathara Anil Kumar and ATMA coordinator Mrs. Mini K Rajan also spoke at the occasion. The celebration included seminars, interactive sessions and exhibitions by various organizations. Around 200 farmers, ATMA functionaries and scientists participated in the inaugural function.


“Reinventing tuber crops consumption forms to match emerging needs of fast growing youth population is the need of the hour” is the message delivered by Dr. G. Gopakumar, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Kerala, Kasargode at the Tuber Crops Day Celebrations organised by Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC) at ICAR- Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI). While inaugurating the programme, Dr Gopakumar recalled on how tuber crops helped to combat food insecurity in Kerala during the first quarter of 20th Century and played a significant role in preventing starvation in the Gods own country. Dr Gopakumar indicated that the urbanisation has significantly changed the food habits of Keralites, and called upon the vibrant youth of Kerala to create startups on innovative tuber crops food technologies to meet the emerging needs. Dr. James George, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, in his presidential address informed that the Institute has contributed significantly for the tuber crops development in the state and has developed 53 improved tuber crops varieties in the last 53 years. Besides, he indicated that a wide spectrum of tuber crops technologies are developed at ICAR-CTCRI for diversified stakeholders– from high starch varieties for farmers to viable healthy food products like gluten-free pasta for small-scale entrepreneurs. Shri. Alathara Anil, Councillor,Thiruvananthapuram Corporation appreciated the Institute for its research work on tuber crops for the past few decades. Dr. CA Jayaprakas, President – ISRC has welcomed the gathering and Dr. V S Santosh Mithra, Secretary has proposed vote of thanks. Two farmers Shri. Khalid,Malapuram and Shri. Subramanian, Perumbavoor, who excelled in tuber crops cultivation, processing and commercialisation were recognised as Best Farmers during this event and they were awarded. About 100 farmers from different parts of Kerala took part in the programme. Tuber Crops Day is a state programme celebrated each year in connection with the Thrikarthika Day to promote tuber crops cultivation and consumption in the state.

NCTTC - 2016

Indian subcontinent which represents one of the greatest emporia of natural wealth and biodiversity is inhabited by more than 53.8 million tribal people. The diversity in the nature provides them with variety in the diet and contributes to household food security. Root and tuber crops being cheap and rich sources of energy capable of alleviating hunger was integrated with the food habits of the tribal population of India since time immemorial. Although there is wide geographical diversity in the tuber crops of India, their occurrence and spread mostly depend on the localized climate and growth environment. Historically, tribal and rural people have adapted themselves to identifying and collecting wild tubers from forests which suit their dietary needs and developed a range of diverse processing methods. Some of the wild species have since been domesticated by certain progressive tribes, while other tribes still depend on the collection and consumption from the wild habitats. India holds rich genetic diversity in tropical root and tuber crops particularly aroids, yams and several minor tuber crops. Most of the tuber crops such as cassava, sweet potatoes, yams and aroids provide beyond calories, nutrition also by virtue of their high content of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals. Nevertheless, malnutrition is a growing curse among the tribal population of India. While more than 53% of the tribal children are stunted, infant mortality sprouting from poor maternal nutrition is also on the increase. Addressing such issues necessitate large scale awareness on the tribal food habits, the nutritional status of the communities and possible interventions that could convince them on the importance of nutritious food. In this context, tropical tuber crops owing to their specific advantages such as ability to grow in poor or marginal soils and climate resilient nature coupled with the nutritional benefits of both roots and leaves of selected crops like sweet potato or taro, assume significance. Information on the indigenous knowledge on the utilization pattern of tuber crops by the tribal people, despite being documented by some researchers, remain scattered. Besides, a wealth of information has been generated over the years on the improved varieties, management practices and value addition by the research organizations and universities of India. This National Conference is intended to bring together the research efforts on tuber crops which would permit an appraisal and selection of the best technologies for the tribal welfare programmes in India. It would also provide an opportunity to chalk out strategies to enhance the living standards of the tribal communities. The conference is also visualised as an eye-opener for the policy makers to introduce feasible technologies in the tribal belts and to popularise nutritious processed foods from tuber crops in the noon meal programme of tribal children, which could also help ensure larger participation in schools and kindle their interest towards education. A Tribal Upliftment Strategic Plan for India is expected to be the major outcome of this conference.

Read more →

Visit of Sri. Radha Mohan Singh, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram on September 29, 2016

A Sri. Radha Mohan Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare visited ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 29 September 2016. The hon’ble minister reached the campus in the afternoon and laid the foundation stone of the newly proposed Farmers Facilitation Centre. The Farmers Facilitation Centre is intended to be a single window where all the needs of the farmers who visit the Institute will be met. Later while addressing farmers, scientists and other employees of the Institute, Sri. Radha Mohan Singh said that the union Government had increased the fund allocation for frontline demonstration and other agricultural extension activities and for agriculture education in Kerala state. He emphasized the importance of such activities in spreading the technologies developed at research stations immediately to farmers. The honourable minister also stressed the importance of developing and spreading water saving technologies such as micro irrigation and drip irrigation, production of quality planting materials and value addition of agricultural produce which will ultimately bring more income to the farmers. He also stressed the importance of mobile based advisories to farmers and said that farmers must be kept informed of the new technologies with the help of such ICT based tools. He also stressed the importance of research programmes which are aimed at thwarting climate change related catastrophes. The minister released Annual Report 2015-16 (Hindi) and a Technical Folder on Techniques for Organic Production of Tropical Tuber Crops on this occasion.

Model Training Course

The Model Training Course entitled “Root and tuber crops based integrated farming system: A way forward to address climate change and livelihood improvement” was organized at ICAR-CTCRI, Regional Centre, Bhubaneswar during 19-26 September, 2016. The course was sponsored by the Directorate of Extension, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India, New Delhi. The training programme was conducted with the objectives; to provide advance training to the state agricultural officers and scientists of ICAR/SAUs/KVKs and improve their skills in the area of Root and Tuber Crops Based Integrated Farming System (IFS); to show the trainees live demonstrations/ experiments on IFS to improved resource-use efficiency, and to provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas/ knowledge sharing between the academics and with the experts/resource persons who have made notable contributions in this area.

Integrated Farming System (IFS) is a multi-disciplinary whole-farm approach for solving the problems of small and marginal farmers. This approach aims at increasing income and employment from small-holdings by integrating various farm enterprises and recycling crop residues and by-products within the farm itself. Under the gradual shrinking of land holding, it is required to integrate enterprises like fishery, poultry, duck rearing, apiary, field and horticultural crops, protected cultivation, mushroom cultivation, dairy, value addition and product development etc. within the bio-physical and socio-economic environment of the farmers to make farming more profitable and dependable. Further tuber crops are climate resilient and they bring assured income to the farmers. Tuber crops serve as food, feed and raw material for industries. Keeping this in view, the course contents were plannned accordingly, to share knowledge on the latest development in root and tuber crops based IFS and sensitize the extension functionaries of state departments and scientists of KVKs/ICAR.

Nineteen officials from State Departments and Scientists from KVKs/ICAR Institutes in the areas of Agricultural Sciences from six states viz., Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, New Delhi and Odisha participated in the programme. The course was organized by Dr. M. Nedunchezhiyan, Principal Scientist & Course Director and Mr. V.V. Bansode and Dr. V.B.S. Chauhan, Scientists & Course Coordinators. Certificate of Participation was distributed to the participants by Dr. A. Mukherjee, Head, ICAR-CTCRI, Regional Centre, Bhubaneswar.

53rd Foundation Day of ICAR-CTCRI

The 53rd foundation day of ICAR- CTCRI was celebrated cordially at the Sreekariyam campus of the institute. The function was inagurated by the State Agriculture Minister Shri. V. S. Sunil Kumar . Minister for Electricity and Devaswom, Shri. Kadakampally Surendran was the chief guest of honour. Trivandrum Corporation Cheruvaikkal ward Counsilor Shri. Alathara Anil Kumar, All India Radio Programme Executive(Vayalum Veedum) Shri. Muraleedharan Thazhakkara, former directors of the institute and scientists were also presented the function.

In the function, Dr. M. N. Sheela, Principal Scientist, delivered the welcome address, Dr. James George, Direcotr(Acting), delivered the presidential address and Dr. James George, Principal Scientist, delivered the vote of thanks.

In his speech, Shri. Kadakampally Surendran appreciated the excellent research and development activities conducted by the institute for the past 53 years. Besides, he demanded the State Agriculture Ministry to take necessary actions to popularize the activities of the institute. Research should be rooted on demands, said the Agriculture Minister , Shri. V. S. Sunil Kumar in his inagural address and promised all support of the state Government to the institute for the same. Rather than popularising the newly invented high yielding varities, the institute should take necessary steps to protect the traditional varieties having high medicinal values, pointed the minster. Public supermarkets will be opened at Thrissur, Calicut and Trivandrum for popularising the value added products developed by the research institutes of the centre and the state. He also released the annual research highlights and e-crop folder of the institute.

Farmers from various districts participated in the function and also had a two hour long interactive session with the scientists of the institute. Mr. Saji( Best tuber crop farmers of the years) from Kollam and Shri. Murali Thazhakkara( Programme Executive, AIR, Vayalum Veedum) were honoured in the function.

TUBER CROPS DAY 2014 commemorating THIRUKARTHIKA day

The Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC) and the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) organized the TUBER CROPS DAY 2014 commemorating THIRUKARTHIKA day on 5th December, 2014 at CTCRI campus, Thiruvananthapuram at 10.30 am. Dr.JT. Sherieff , Vice President ,ISRC delivered the welcome address. Presiding over the function Dr.S.K.Chakrabarti, Director, CTCRI. Talked about the importance of tuber crops and its contribution towards food security. He also stated that the CTCRI is the only research institute in the world conducting research exclusively on tuber crops. He also briefed about the technologies developed by the Institute and appreciated the tuber crop farmers . Prof. George Varghese, Director, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, Thiruvananthapuram, inaugurated the programme. In his inaugural address he appreciated the farmers for doing tuber crops cultivation and contributing to the food security of the country through their efforts. He also appreciated the research works done by the institute and for celebrating the Thrrikartika day as Tuber crops Day. The key note address was delivered by Dr.M. Chandradathan, Director, VSSC (ISRO) Thiruvananthapuram. He has briefed about the importance of Tuber crops day. He told that the passion towards agriculture need to be brought about in the younger generation. He also talked about the advantages and disadvantages of the GM crops. He also highlighted the role of communication satellites in disaster management and providing weather reports which is beneficial to the farmers and public. In this occasion Dr. C.S. Ravindran,Head, Crop Production and Dr. M.Anantharaman, Head, extension and social sciences were felicitated for their contribution for the growth and development of the tuber crops. Shri. Balachandran Nair, President -, Sangha Mythiri and Shri. Ramachandran , from Peyad were felicitated for popularising tuber crops cultivation in Kerala. Dr. V.S.Santhosh Mithra, Secretary ISRC proposed the vote of thanks. In continuation with this, a scientist farmer interaction session was also organized. Shri. K. Jyothishkumar, Doordarshan Kendra, Thiruvanathapuram served as the moderator. The doubts and queries raised by the farmers were replied by the scientists of the Institute. Farmers were taken around the experimental fields and laboratories and were made aware about the quality planting material production using rapid multiplication techniques, cassava based bio-pesticides to manage crop pests and product diversification and value addition in tuber crops. Around 250 farmers from different districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu participated in this day long celebration. The farmers were also provided with Thirukarthika kit at nominal cost. (S.K.CHAKRABARTI)

Fruits of research should benefit farmers: VSSC chief

Thiruvananthapuram: A leading space scientist on Friday observed that fruits of research and development, including those propelled by ISRO, should benefit the farmers for making a leap in agricultural production in the country.

Delivering the key-note address at the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) here on the 'tuber crops day', M Chandradathan, Director Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), said surplus production of farm produce was not only vital for food security but also for industrial growth as agriculture provided important raw materials.

Chandradathan noted that though the ISRO was widely known for its successful launches including the Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan, the space agency also played a crucial role in developing technologies that helped farmers.

The success in developing remote sensing applications was a case in point as they helped forecast weather changes and natural disasters like cyclones or excessive rainfall, he said.

Inaugurating the function, Dr George Varghese, Director of the State Council for Science Technology and Environment, said causing stress on earth by excessive use of pesticides and other pollutants would spell doom for agriculture and upset the food security.

Recalling that in the past farmers used to take great care to protect the land they tilled from environmental degradation, he said good practices like organic cultivation should be promoted by scientific institutions.

Presiding over the function, S K Chakrabarti, Director CTCRI, said increasing productivity of tuber crops was vital since they formed a major component of the food basket in the country.

The researches carried out by CTCRI had contributed significantly in increasing the productivity of a variety of tuber crops, which were an important dietary supplement after cereal.

The inaugural session was followed by an interaction between scientists and farmers.

Techno incubation Centre of Tuber Crops, Inagurated

Techno incubation Centre of Tuber Crops was inaugurated by Shri. Oommen Chandy, the Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala on 31st July, 2014 at CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram. The centre was set up with the financial aid from Government of Kerala to help small scale entrepreneurs to manufacture their product from tuber crops in their own brand name. The Chief Minister promised all help to the centre and he called upon young entrepreneurs to come forward and utilize this facility. During this function "Tuber Crops development programmes of Kerala State" also was launched by him and he hoped that this programme may give a fillip to the tuber crops development in the state by supplying quality planting material to farmers in sufficient quantity. Shri. K.P.Mohanan, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Kerala was the guest of honour. Shri.M.A.Vahid MLA and Dr.S.K.Chakrabarti, Director CTCRI also spoke during the occasion. Dr.G.Padmaja, Head Division of Crop Utilization, CTCRI welcomed the gathering and Dr.James George, Project Coordinator, AICRPTC proposed vote of thanks. This function was followed by Scientist- Farmer interactive meeting and field visit

Training programme on Farming system involving tuber crops’

A one day training programme on ‘Farming system involving tuber crops’ was organized at Dayanidhiguda village, Koraput Block, Koraput District of Odisha under Tribal Sub-Plan on 23.07.2014. Dr. M. Nedunchezhiyan organized the training programme with the help of local Ngo, PRAGATI. Dr. R.C. Ray and Dr. K. Laxminarayana from the Regional Centre of CTCRI, Mr. A.K. Patnaik Deputy Director Horticulture (Koraput) and Mr. Murali Mishra District Development Manager (Koraput), NABARD graced the programme. Seventy farmers and farm women from Dayanidhiguda and Kendar villages attended the training programme. Mrs. Luna Panda, PRAGATI welcomed the gathering. Dr. M. Nedunchezhiyan trained the farmers on importance of tuber crops cultivation and farming system approach for sustainable livelihood under the changing climate. Dr. K. Laxminarayana imparted training on taro, sweet potato and yam bean cultivation and Dr. R.C. Ray explained value addition of tuber crops to the farmers. Mr. A.K. Patnaik, DDH (Koraput) explained the farmers importance of tuber crops in livelihood improvement. Mr. Murali Misra, DDM (Koraput), NABARD explained the farmers the benefits of various schemes of NABARD and asked the farmers to utilize for tuber crops cultivation. Then Mr. Murali Misra and Mr. A.K. Patnaik distributed yam bean seeds to the tribal farmers as contingent crop against irregular rainfall. Mr. Prabhakar Adhikari, proposed vote of thanks.

Training Programme on ‘‘Tuber Crops Technologies for Livelihood and Nutritional Security in Watershed Areas of Keonjhar, Odisha’

TA 5 days training programme on ‘Tuber Crops Technologies for Livelihood and Nutritional Security in Watershed Areas of Keonjhar, Odisha’ sponsored by Project Director, Watersheds, Keonjhar was organized by Regional Centre of CTCRI, Bhubaneswar from 30.04.2014 to 04.05.2014. The training programme included 3 days training and 2 days field visits. Dr. R.S. Misra, Head, Regional Centre of CTCRI, Bhubaneswar welcomed the participants in the inaugural function on 30.4.2014 at 10.00 AM. A total of 30 farmers representing Anandapur block of Keonjhar district, Odisha had been imparted training on various tuber crops technologies including agro-techniques, nutrient management, pest & disease management, value added products as well as agro-techniques of important vegetable crops, integrated pest & disease management in vegetables and fruit crops, vermicompost production technology, opportunities of aquaculture in watershed areas, production technology of cashew nut & potato cultivation, agroforestry enterprises in watershed areas and demonstration of home made products of cassava, sweet potato and colocasia. An amount of Rs. 49,430/- (Rupees Forty nine thousands four hundred and thirty) only released by the Project Director, Watershed, Keonjhar, Odisha for organization of 3 days training programme excluding the expenditure towards transportation, accommodation, breakfast and dinner to the participants. Budgetary requirement for field visits to the farmers was borne by the sponsoring agency. Sh. Haribandhu Seth, Additional Project Director, Watershed, Keonjhar was graced both inaugural and valedictory functions. Dr. S.K. Mishra, I/C Head, Regional Station of Central Aviation Research Institute, Bhubaneswar has graced the valedictory function as Guest of Honour. Dr. K. Laxminarayana, Principal Scientist, Regional Centre of CTCRI has acted as Convener of the training programme. The participants were honoured by presentation of certificates in the valedictory function on 2nd May, 2014.

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.

Read more →

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

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 CTCRI management, members and employees, staff and large family gathering of CTCRI and the distinguished guests. What does Golden Jubilee Celebrations of CTCRI means? That means CTCRI is in the earth, earth takes one year to orbit around the sun. That means 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 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 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 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.

Read more →