A training on ‘Value addition and entrepreneurship development in tuber crops’ was conducted from 16th to 22nd of March 2018 by the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. The training is one of the activities included in the collaborative workplan between the International Potato Center and the IFAD-supported Livelihood and Access to Market Project (LAMP) in the framework of the FoodSTART+ project. A total of 9 participants attended the training programme including the Facilitators of the Farmers Business Schools (FBS) that are being implemented by FoodSTART+ in East Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills Districts of Meghalaya, India. This training aimed at increasing awareness and building the capacities of participants in processing techniques and other options for value addition of root and tuber crops (RTC), primarily cassava and sweetpotato.
The trainees learned about Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for quality RTC production along with postharvest and value addition technologies from the experience of Dr. G. Suja (Agronomist) and M.S. Sajeev (Postharrvest, Principal Scientist) of CTCRI, respectively. In addition, nutritional value of RTCs and bio-pesticide extracts from cassava plants were discussed by Dr. G. Padmaja, Emeritus Scientist of CTCRI.
At the Techno Incubation Centre, CTCRI, a brief orientation was given by Dr. S. Shanavas on the different machineries and equipment that can be used in RTC value addition for small-scale/cottage industries followed by hands on demonstration on preparation of chips and other extruded products such as noodles, pasta, and crisps. With the guidance of Dr. M. Anantharaman, member of the FoodSTART+ Technical Advisory Pool, field trips have also been arranged to commercial cassava plantations and existing cottage industries as well as large scale industries processing cassava. Facilitators are now expected to further disseminate the acquired knowledge to local farmers involved in the FBS process so that they can choose among a wider range of options and make better informed decisions for their emerging RTC-based enterprises.
Written by Mr. Adelbert Kharlyngdoh, FoodSTART+ India Country Facilitator