Bhubaneswar, Nov 28:
Tubers are one of the main components of the food security basket of the tribal people and poor communities. There are many kinds of tubers and a wide variety of the edible stuff is available in the forests.
During the lean periods of food scarcity, the tribals dig out these tubers and eat it.
Quite a few of them are very tasty also.
Leading Odisha NGO Agragamee was assisted by Madhu Bhaduri, a retired Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer who gave a substantial part of her pension money to promote tuber crops in tribal areas especially in Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi district based on the technical knowhow from Central Tuber Crop Research Institute ( CTCRI), Bhubaneswar.
The tubers crops which were promoted include a variety of Tapioca, Yams , Elephant Foot Yams and Sweet Potatoes. These varieties have been developed with intensive research.
The special variety of Elephant Foot Yam which people simply love has a unique feature – it does not itch in the mouth after it is properly boiled and cooked. ( The picture of the elephant foot yam gives you an idea of its size, shape and weight of this incredible tuber )
The tribal regions in our state offer a great scope for cultivation and marketing of these tubers which can address food security issues of the poor in a big way.
( Based on inputs from Achyut Das, Director, Agragamee )