Thiruvananthapuram

Tapioca can fight cancer: expert

variety on offer:Ministers K.P. Mohanan, Adoor Prakash, and Anoop Jacob at the Tuber Food Fest 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.— Photo: S. Gopakumar  

Tapioca, a staple or subsidiary food of 400 million people in the tropical and subtropical countries, could also be an antidote to cancer, R. Heli, former Director of Agriculture has said.

Delivering the inaugural address at the Tuber Crops Day celebrations organised by the Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC) at the ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) here on Tuesday, he cited published scientific works in the Western and a few Asian countries to indicate that the incidence of cancer was less among the tapioca consuming population in African countries.

Indonesians, he said, were the first to reveal the anti-cancer properties of tapioca. Researchers from Nigeria had established that the leaf extract of tapioca could help to cure prostate and bladder cancer.

Mr. Heli recalled that tapioca was the saviour crop of Kerala during 1960s when the State experienced a severe food shortage.

He said the cassava-based bio-pesticides Nanma, Menma and Shreya developed by C.A. Jayaprakas and his team, at ICAR-CTCRI had changed the pest management scene in Kerala.

Substitutes

The two bio-pesticides could be effective substitutes for chemical pesticides when Kerala shifts to organic farming by 2016.

S.K. Chakrabarti, Director, ICAR-CTCRI, presided over the meeting.

Oommen V. Oommen, Chairman, Kerala State Biodiversity Board, delivered the keynote address.

Dr. Jayaprakas and V.S. Santosh Mithra spoke on the occasion.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 1:43:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/tapioca-can-fight-cancer-expert/article7915056.ece

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