Tropical root and tuber crops are well known since ancient times for saving mankind during food crisis. They play an important role in the dietary habits of people living in the tropics. Tuber crops produce large quantity of dietary energy and have stable yield under different environmental conditions. The major tropical root and tuber crops covered in All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops include cassava, sweet potato, taro, bunda, swamp taro, elephant foot yam, giant taro, lesser yam, greater yam, aerial yam, winged bean, arrow root, coleus etc. Cassava, the food-feed-fuel and future crop is cultivated in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and in North-Eastern parts of India. Sweet potato is grown largely in Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra. Aroids, yam and other tuber crops are cultivated in different parts of India. There were 22 centres under the project during 2015 and the centre at NDUAT, Faizabad was dropped during 2017. ICAR-CTCRI and Regional centre of CTCRI, Bhubhaneswar also serve as voluntary centres under the project. At present the project is functioning with 21 centres spread over eighteen States and one Union Territory covering northern, north-eastern, eastern, western and southern parts of India and hence has the ideal situation to conduct studies in different agro climatic situations. Of the 21 centres, 14 are in 12 state agricultural universities, two in central agricultural universities and five in ICAR institutions. At the commencement of the project, the Director of Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram was coordinating the programme on a part-time basis from 1968 to 1979 until a separate post of Project Coordinator was created. Dr. S.P. Varma joined in March 1979 as the Project Coordinator and was functioning from Rajendra Agricultural University, Dholi. Later, the office of the Project Coordinator was shifted during 1983 to Regional Centre, CTCRI at Bhubaneswar and again during 1993 to CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram. Dr. Varma continued until 15-08-1994. Dr. P. G. Rajendran was the Project Coordinator for the period from 16-08-1994 to 31-08-2003. Dr. M.S. Palaniswami served as Project Coordinator from September 1, 2003 to June 30, 2010. Dr. C. S. Ravindran was holding the charge of PC from July 1, 2010 to September 23, 2010.Dr. James George took over as the Project Coordinator from 24 September 2011 upto 31 January 2019. Dr. Archana Mukherjee, Director, ICAR-CTCRI was holding the charge of PC during February 2019 to October 2019. Dr. V. Ravi and Dr. M. N. Sheela was holding the charge of Project Coordinator during November 2019 to May 2021 and June 2021 to 22nd January 2023 respectively. Dr. G. Byju joined as Director, ICAR-CTCRI on 23rd January, 2023 is presently holding the charge of the Project Coordinator on AICRP on Tuber Crops.
AICRP on Tuber Crops