There is a lot of potential for tuber crops to be developed in the North-Eastern States to ensure food security, said S V Ngachan, Director, Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) Research Complex for North-Eastern Hill (NEH) region of India. He was inaugurating a training programme at the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) on Monday.
The training programme - ‘Improved tuber crops production technologies for the North East region’ - is being held between December 3 and 7 for the skill development of scientists, NGOs etc to produce ‘better quality tuber crops, planting materials at the project site’ - which is the North East. As many as 15 trainees from various NEH states are participating in the programme.
“The CTCRI is implementing a livelihood and R&D project on tuber crops in the North-Eastern Hill region where crops like cassava, taro and sweet potato occupy a pre-dominant place in the food basket of people there,” said Ngachan.
The ongoing training programme at CTCRI is part of its larger ‘technology intervention programme’ for “enhancing food security and sustainable livelihoods in North-Eastern India through tuber crop technologies”, according to CTCRI scientist S Ramanathan.
“This year, under the 12th Five Year Plan, Rs 48 lakh has been set aside for the project,” said Ramanathan.
The tentative budget is of Rs 2 crore, and is a collaboration with ICAR Research Complex for NEH, Meghalaya; four Krishi Vigyan Kendras and four non-governmental bodies.
Currently operational in four states - Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura - the project is expected to be implemented in other states next year.