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ICAR–Central Tuber Crops Research Institute Introduces Rainbow Diet Campaign For Promoting Health Of Tribals In Kerala’s Attapadi

Officials said nutrient-rich tuber crops such as orange-and purple-fleshed sweet potato (rich in Vitamin A and anthocyanin) and purple-fleshed yam (rich in anthocyanin) were introduced in the tribal areas of Sholayur and Pulimala areas of Attapadi in Palakkad district

ICAR–Central Tuber Crops Research Institute Introduces Rainbow Diet Campaign For Promoting Health Of Tribals In Kerala's Attapadi
The programme titled 'Rainbow Diet Campaign' was launched by ICAR–Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram in collaboration with Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Pattambi

Palakkad: A central government agriculture research institute has launched an ambitious campaign in a village in Attapadi, one of Kerala’s tribal heartlands, for promoting health and wellness of tribals in a natural way at an affordable cost. The programme titled ‘Rainbow Diet Campaign’ was launched by ICAR–Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram in collaboration with Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Pattambi on Friday (June 16).

This is a field intervention programme for promoting production and utilisation of biofortified tuber crop varieties developed by ICAR–CTCRI at Agali, an official release said on Saturday (June 17).

Officials said nutrient-rich tuber crops such as orange-and purple-fleshed sweet potato (rich in Vitamin A and anthocyanin) and purple-fleshed yam (rich in anthocyanin) were introduced in the tribal areas of Sholayur and Pulimala areas of Attapadi in Palakkad district.

A tuber crops rainbow diet consisting of a plateful of food products developed from biofortified sweet potato, cassava and millets that would provide balanced nutrition for addressing the malnutrition issue in Attapadi was also introduced on the occasion.

Currently, the Rainbow Diet Campaign project is implemented through three specialised programmes — Nutriseed Village, SCHOOL CONNECT programme and Capacity Plus, the release said.

Under the Nutriseed village scheme, 24 tribal farmers from Vayaloor and Chitoor villages are involved in production of quality planting materials of biofortified sweet potato varieties Bhu Sona, Bhu Ja, Bhu Kanti (orange flesh) and Bhu Krishna (purple flesh), it said.

Also Read: How Apollo Foundation And The Forest Authorities Are Ensuring Better Lives For The Chenchu Tribal Community 

Launching the programme at a stakeholders meeting conducted in Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) campus, Dr G Byju, Director, ICAR-CTCRI said a new satellite incubation centre will be set up in RARS, Pattambi for promoting tribal entrepreneurship. At least 170 farmers and other stakeholders participated in the meeting.

In his presidential address, Dr P P Musa, Professor, RARS, KAU, Pattambi said that biofortified sweet potato can fit well in the millet-based consumption systems in Attapadi and will address the malnutrition problem in the region. Planting materials of biofortified sweet potato were distributed to the farmers.

A nutrition awareness programme on biofortified tuber crops was also organised at the Malleswara Vidhyanikedhan in Nellippathy hamlet to promote healthy eating among school children.

While inaugurating the programme, Byju called for implementing a three-pronged strategy for promoting biofortified crops in school.

This includes creation of nutritional awareness through specialised campaigns, providing experiential learning for children in growing biofortified crops in the school gardens and making them ambassadors of change for promoting biofortified and nutritious crops in their neighbourhood and communities.

After the launching ceremony, the students planted biofortified sweet potato varieties in the school garden. About 100 students took part in the ceremony.

Also Read: Need To Uplift Tribal Community For India’s Progress: Upasana Kamineni Konidela, VC of CSR, Apollo Hospitals

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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