Success with sweet potato rich in antioxidants (β-carotene, anthocyanin)
ICAR-CTCRI, Regional Centre, Bhubaneswar-751019, Odisha,India
I would like to share my experiences and cannot consider it as success rather a drop of initiative towards a Vast Ocean of Agri-challenges.
Let us recall the monster ‘Super cyclone’ in Odisha during October 1999.
Being in ICAR and tuber crops Scientist we extended support through ICAR- contingent action plan to rehabilitate the affected farm facilities. I fortunately or unfortunately got the farthest point to extend support from ICAR- CTCRI RC, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India to the victims of Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada the worst affected coastal districts. In Jagatsinghpur, the village ‘Kanaguli’, I could reach with difficulties and could help then with collaboration of Rama Krishna Mission.
However in Kendrapada, the worst affected island type ‘Mahakalpada block’ was tough to reach. It is during that time I got the support of MSSRF, Kendrapada unit. Staff of that unit were working and crossing day and night with their country boat to help the victims. They came forward to help us to reach the people of that block. The miseries were beyond narration. In addition to relief materials, we supported them with the improved sweet potato developed by us at ICAR-CTCRI to grow as they lost their paddy and other vegetables. Of the 4 varieties (Kishan, Kalinga, Goutam and Sankar) supplied to them, Gouri and Kishan performed well under saline conditions. Performance of Gouri was the best – ‘This mooted me to think in depth as Gouri is enriched with β-carotene’. I started to work on salt tolerant antioxidants rich sweet potato with the support of ICAR Cess fund scheme. We developed salt tolerant β-carotene and anthocyanin rich sweet potato like ST-14 (β-carotene 14 mg/100g) and ST-13 (anthocyanin 90mg/100g).
These are now gaining popularity not only in coastal belts of Odisha but also hilly backward areas like Koraput, Phulbani, in Odisha, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Narayanpur in Chattisgarh, Gorakhpur in UP, Dangoria Charitable Trust in Andhra Pradesh and also North eastern parts of our Country. Figs (1-5) can reflect the joy to work with all.
I am grateful to all those NGOs (MSSRF, WORD, Dangoria Trust, Rama Krishna Missions) and National, International Govt. programme like TSP, DUS, INEA etc., for the support to reach the people in remote areas. It is our duty to support the people with basic needs “Sustainable food and livelihood”. Our collaborative efforts have enlightened the people of affected and remote areas.
Thanks to all of you involved in this endeavor.
God bless you all.
With kind regards,
N.B.: Friends, I have some pre commitment and I have to report for my cancer treatment follow up in TMH, Mumbai. I may not be able to participate in coming few days.