Training cum awareness programme on “Rainbow diet campaign for NEH region for promoting tuber crops based rainbow diet for food, nutrition and health security” organized at ICAR Mizoram Centre, Kolasib, Mizoram

One day farmers training programme was organised by ICAR-Research Complex for NEH Region, Mizoram Centre, Kolasib in collaboration with ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram on 21st February, 2020 at ICAR Mizoram Centre. Stakeholders interface meet and tuber crops based ethnic food exhibition were also organised during the event. The program was aimed to popularize nutrient rich tuber crops and tuber crops based value added and functional foods for alleviating malnutrition in order to achieve food and nutritional security. The programme was attended by 150 farmers from various parts of Kolasib and Aizawl districts as well as several officials from different organizations.

Dr. I. Shakuntala, Joint Director, ICAR-Research Complex for NEH Region, Mizoram Centre in the presence of ICAR-CTCRI Scientists, Block Development Officer, Bilkhawthlir RD block, District Horticulture Officer and District Agricultural Officer, and District Development Manager, NABARD, inaugurated the training cum awareness programme and tuber crop ethnic food exhibition. Nutrient rich tuber crops namely, cassava (Sree Pavithra), sweet potato; Bhu Krishna (anthocyanin rich purple flesh) and Bhu Sona (β-carotene rich orange flesh), greater yam Sree Neelima (anthocyanin rich purple flesh) and coleous (Sree Dhara) were displayed. The cooked tubers along with tuber crop based value-added snack food products were also displayed and provided to the officials and farmers for sensory evaluation.

Dr. C. Mohan, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, welcomed the participants of the event. Dr. I. Shakuntala discussed the potential of introducing tuber crops towards achieving food and nutritional security in Mizoram in her presidential address. District Horticulture Officer, District Agricultural Officer, District Development Manager, NABARD and Block Development Officer showed keen interest in production and promotion of tuber crops through convergence under various schemes.

A training manual on “Potential tropical tuber crops-production technologies, value added and functional foods” was released during the programme. Improved tuber  crops varieties like Sree Pavithra and Bhu Krishna (Purple flesh) and Bhu Sona (Orangle flesh) and pamphlets on machineries, value-added products and functional foods were also distributed to the farmers.

The inaugural session was followed by technical sessions on tuber crops varieties, quality planting material production, cultivation practices and entrepreneurship development through value added products which was conducted by ICAR-CTCRI scientists Dr. C. Mohan, Dr. K. M. Senthilkumar, Dr. T. Krishnakumar, Dr. Vivek Hegde and Dr. V. B. S. Chauhan. The meeting ended with vote of thanks by Dr. Vishambhar Dayal. The programme was coordinated by Dr. C. Mohan, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI, and Dr. Vishambhar Dayal, Scientist, ICAR Mizoram Centre, Kolasib.