KHUPA ( Anjaw dist )- Micronutrient malnutrition is a serious health problem in Arunachal Pradesh with over 15% of children under age nine suffering from various deficiencies. With a focus on alleviating Vitamin A deficiency, a one-day nutritional awareness ON Rainbow Diet cum capacity building for production of quality planting materials of biofortified tuber crops varieties was organised on the occasion of ‘International Women’s day’ by ICAR-KVK Anjaw with collaboration with ICAR Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 08th march 2021 at KVK campus, Khupa.
The focus of event was to build capacities of the farmers in Anjaw district in scientific production of quality planting materials of biofortified sweet potato varieties Bhu Sona (Orange-fleshed) and Bhu Krishna (Purple-fleshed) sweet potato varieties along with other tuber crops varieties released by ICAR-CTCRI.
The programme was started with the inauguration of the Tuber Crops Ethnic Food Festival where various Women SHGs of Anjaw district displayed traditional foods of tuber crops. The Chief Guest Mr. S. K. Dey, Principal, DIET, Khupa inaugurated the festival.
During the meeting, Dr. Santosh Kumar, Sr. Scientist & Head, KVK Anjaw welcomed all the participants and briefed the gathering about the importance of organizing this training. Ms. Lipu Eshi, Lecturer, DIET, Khupa, who delivered the International Women’s Day talk, highlighted the change in the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women in today’s era and also encouraged the women folk to become self-independent to forge a positive change towards development.
Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI, Kerala and the Leader of the NEH Project Team explained the need to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies in the NEH region and stressed the need for integrating biofortified foods with the traditional food system. He advocated “Rainbow Diet” approach focusing on tubers to for promoting health and wellness among Mishmi tribes in this remotest district of country. He informed that the Rainbow Diet strategy focusing on children involves popularising various foods like noodles, pasta, cakes, cookies prepared from biofortified varieties.
Dr. K. Laxminarayana, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI, Bhubaneswar, Odisha indicated that about seven tonnes of planting materials of biofortieied and other tuber crops varieties are being distributed to the farmers and explained the scientific methods of producing quality planting materials of tuber crops. Further, presentations were made by team of KVK Scientists about the traditional cultivation practices of tubers in Anjaw district.
Value added products such as chips, namkeen, pasta and noodles were displayed in his stall and pasta prepared from Orange-fleshed sweet potato variety Bhu Sona and Purple flesh variety Bhu Krishna were prepared by Dr. H. Kesava Kumar, Scientist, ICAR-CTCRI, Kerala and served to farmers. At the end of the programme, prizes & certificates were distributed to the winners of the exhibition programme and the tubers of different tubers such as sweet potato, yam, taro, etc. were distributed to the farmers. Around a total of 113 farmers and other stakeholders participated the programme.