Karnataka

Promoting tubers and roots

Tubers on display at a mela in Mysuru on Saturday.

Tubers on display at a mela in Mysuru on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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Call to promote country’s culinary heritage that has been ignored for long

It is a discovery of the world of tubers and roots ranging from cassava to yams at the two-day Tuber Mela that got underway at the Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry in the city on Saturday.

A 88-kg tuber cultivated by a farmer from Hunsur, which took two years to reach its beastly size, was the cynosure of all eyes at the mela which is drawing huge crowds and saw the presence of the erstwhile royals of Mysuru including Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar.

Also on display was Simha Pada, another variety of tuber, besides 500 others in all sizes and shapes from across the State.

Kalegowda Nagawar, folklorist, who inaugurated the mela called for a return to the consumption of tubers and roots as it is part of the country’s culinary heritage that has been ignored in the last few decades. The mela is being organised by Sahaja Samruddha and University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot, to promote public awareness on the nutritional benefits of tubers and roots.

Mr. Nagawar said the tribal communities were first exposed to tubers and roots which were rich in proteins and carbohydrates.

They are a precursor to other food items including rice and is part of the inherited heritage that should be conserved. He expressed concern that even the tribal food culture was of late being polluted by the widespread introduction of polished rice in hamlets.

The folklorist said it was time to bring back tubers and roots to the food table.

Book released

A book on the world of tubers and roots was also released to mark the occasion. Arun Kumar Bhavidoddi, a horticultural scientist from the Regional Horticultural Research and Extension Centre, Dharwad, said tubers and roots were a good supplement to ensure food security and would benefit the farmers too as they entailed little cultivation cost, were resistant to vagaries of nature and there was a ready market for the produce. They could be grown under rain-fed conditions, he added.

More than 25 farmers’ groups from across the State are participating in the two-day mela which will feature a cooking competition on Sunday.

Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samruddha said tubers and roots have an important role in food security and nutrition and were beneficial to farmers to shore up their income. In the present times of agricultural crisis where the input cost has increased and income is on the decline, tubers require next to nothing to grow but could supplement farmers’ income, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:16:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/promoting-tubers-and-roots/article30545699.ece

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