About Us
All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops (AICRPTC) bestowed upon with main goal of generating region-specific value added varieties, agrotechniques and production systems technologies, integrated pest and disease management and transfer of production enhancing technologies, along with creating awareness among the farming community, policy makers and researchers. Food security challenges brighten the prospects of tuber and root crops, both nationally and internationally. AICRPTC covers 19 States and one Union Territory under the project covering major tropical tuber and root crops.
There were many selections/accessions identified for farmers adoption, especially in cassava, sweet potato (both in high starch and in high carotene), taro, yams and yam bean. Very good collection of germ plasm of 24 species of tuber and root crops were characterized, catalogued and maintained at different centers as gene - bank for developing region specific varieties with value addition. Production and protection strategies were formulated, standardized and validated for different crops at different regions. The centers were doing an excellent service to the tuber crops farmers in creating the awareness of importance of specific package of cultivation of tuber crops. They have exhibited with live specimens, charts, and pamphlets in the regional language at different farmers meets/melas. The centers have distributed quality-planting materials of improved and proven varieties to the farmers of different regions.

Conservation of germplasm
ICAR-CTCRI thiruvananthapuram has been identified as the National repository for all germplasms of tuber crops collected /obtained in India. Accordingly, the voucher samples of collections made at different centres have to be deposited with the national repository. A total of 5558 accessions comprising 1211 cassava, 1124 sweet potato, 1110 yams, 672 edible aroids, 200 minor tuber crops and 1241 from regional centre,are currently available.

Exploitation of genetic resources and improvement.
The All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops (AICRPTC)is making concerted effort in creating awareness on the vast diversity and potentiality of tuber crops as a food and industrial crop in the traditional as well as non-traditional areas of the country and especially in the North-East India. Crops like cassava and elephant foot yam are becoming popular in many nontraditional areas of the country due to the efforts made by AICRP TC.

The Achivement made by AICRPTC in collection of wild germplasm and evolving improved varieties led to the identification of 108 high yielding varieties of different tuber crops with good quality attributes in various tuber crops, since 1976. A total of 38 new varieties of tuber crops (cassava - 8, sweet potato -12, taro -10, swamp taro -1, lesser yam -1 and elephant foot yam -3, greater yam-2 and yam bean-1) were recommended/ released in the last five years i.e since 2011-12.

AICRP on Tuber Crops released a total of eighteen high yielding varieties of cassava of which five were recommended for release during the last five years including the two triploids, Sree Athulya and Sree Apoorva. High yielding cassava varieties with edible quality, short duration and mosaic tolerance, viz., Sree Jaya, Sree Vijaya, etc.

As a result of the high yielding and nutritionally rich varieties of sweet potato released through AICRP TC like, Kamala Sundari, Sree Bhadra, Sree Kanaka, CO 3-4. etc., the productivity has increased from 8.7 to 10.1 t ha-1, over the past five years. AICRP TC has released 40 superior varieties of sweet potato across the country. Of these 10 varieties were recommended for release in the last five years including the Anthocynain rich variety ST-13.

AICRPTC has released a total of 10 yam varieties so far. Four improved varieties were identified for release after 2010 and these varieties have replaced the local cultivars in the states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala and Jharkhand.

AICRPTC has identified 6 superior varieties of elephant foot yam.  Gajendra is the leading variety of EFY popularised through AICRPTC with high yield potential (55-60 tha-1, non-acrid and having good cooking quality).  This money spinning crop has brought economic security to the farmers fetching a handsome amount of Rs.3-4 lakhs per ha.
In Taro, the variety, Muktakeshi which is field tolerant to taro leaf blight disease, and high yield potential has been popularized in the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. A total of 21 varieties were recommended for release through AICRPTC of which 6 were recommended during the last five years.

AICRPTC has also made explorations to collect germplasms of minor tuber crops and improvements were made which has led to the identification of seven superior varieties for release. They are one each in bunda, swamp taro, tannia and two each in coleus and yam bean.

Agro technologies to improve productivity
AICRP on Tuber Crops has conducted several location specific agronomic experiments at different states through its centres and identified many adaptive technologies for improving the production and productivity of tuber crops.

  • Technology for rearing eri-silk worm for the production of eri silk using cassava leaves in the state of Assam.
  • Integrated  nutrient management using 3/4th dose of  FYM + NK + Green Manure at 25 t ha-1 was optimum for recording highest tuber yield in cassava and is recommended in Maharashtra, AP and in Tamil Nadu.
  • Green manuring cowpea at 50 kg/ha could replace application of FYM for getting maximum tuber yield in cassava in AP and Chhattisgarh.
  • Integrated nutrient management involving application of  Daincha green manuring @ 50 kg/ha + RD of K+ 50 % RD of NP + Azospirillum(5 kg/ha) + PSB (5 kg/ha) was found ideal for maximum cassava tuber yield in Chhattisgarh.
  • A combination of FYM 10 t ha-1, vermi compost/poultry manure 2.5 t ha-1 + Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium 5 kg/ha was optimum for organic production of sweet potatoin West Bengal and Manipur.
  • For organic production of sweet potato, application of FYM 10 t ha-1 + neem cake 1 t ha-1 + Azospirillum and Phspohobacterium 5 kg/ha wasideal in AP.
  • The sweet potato variety Sree bhadra with straw mulching performed better in rice based cropping system in Odisha.
  • In West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Manipur  , application of 1/3rd or 2/3rd recommended N (60 kg N ha-1) + 2 kg Azospirillumha-1 as vine dipping + 10 kg Azospirillum ha-1 as soil application was found ideal to increase the marketable tuber yield in sweet potato.
  • Under organic cultivation of EFY, vermicompost at 5 t ha-1 + Azospirilum 5 Kg/ha + Phosphobacterium 5Kg/ha + Ash 5 t ha-1was found optimum inUttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • Intercropping EFY with Turmeric in 1:2 ratio was the optimum combination  in UP, Jharkhand, Odisha, and AP.
  • Application of bio fertilizers such as Azospirilum, Phosphobacterium with recommended dose of FYM could reduce the requirement of chemical fertilizers by 25% inGujarat, AP, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.
  • EFY yield under organic sources involving FYM or vermicompost or poultry manure + biofertilizers + ash is recommended against standard practices in Gujarat. Organic production of EFY by the application of FYM 10t ha-1, ash 5 t ha-1 +Azospirilum 5kg/ha + AMF 5kg/ha is recommended for Bihar.
  • Based on AICRP findings, intercropping of tuber crops especially elephant foot yam, sweet potato, and taro in orchard of litchi, mango, cashew and banana enhanced returns to the tune of 1.5 to 2 Lakhs per ha as additional revenue in the States of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Turmeric and ginger were found to be ideal intercrops in elephant foot yam intercropped in the ratio of 1:2 for getting maximum yield equivalents and B: C ratio.
  • Turmeric and Ginger were identified as suitable intercrops in taro giving maximum yield equivalents in 1:1 ratio and was recommended in Manipur.Taro + Turmeric in 1:1 ratio proved best for optimum taro yield and intercrop turmeric yield in Chhattisgarh.
  • In west Bengal cormel treatment with Carbendazim (0.05%) and Trichoderma viride (0.05%) and stored in pacca floor gave good result in keeping taro cormels for more than two months without rotting.Cormels stored in pits lined with polyethylene sheet containing dry sand is found to be ideal under Assam conditions.
  • Seed tuber treatment with Trichoderma viride (5g/ kg cow dung slurry and soil application of 1 kg Trichoderma viride enriched compost per pit) resulted in higher colocasia tuber yield.

Farming system studies

  • Amorphophallus was found to be the most suitable tuber crop in tuber crops based farming system studies in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to achieve maximum yield and B: C ratio (1.87 to 3.4 in Chhattisgarh).
  • Tuber crops based farming system in the tribal areas of Odisha and Assam replacing the sole rice cultivation increased maximum net profit (Rs. 484 to Rs. 30,953) and employment opportunities (55 to 150 mandays) in a given area of 2600 square metres.

Protection Technologies

  • Sweet potato + coriander at 1:1 ratio is recommended to reduce sweet potato weevil damage and to get highest marketable tuber yield in AP and Bihar.
  • Seed tuber treatment with Trichoderma viride (5g /kg cow dung slurry) and soil application of 1 kg Trichoderma viride enriched compost per pit was effective against TLB disease incidence at various Centres.
  • IPM package against sweet potato weevil was standardized.
  • IDM package against taro leaf blight invoving early planting, use of tolerant varieties, spraying of neem leaf extract and soil incorporation of Trichodermais effective in containing the leaf blight and enhancing the cormel yield economically in Maharashtra, AP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. 
  • Neem leaf extract spraying (1 kg in 10 litre water) helped to suppress taro leaf blight in West Bengal.
  • Planting of marigold/ garlic in alternate rows with sweet potato or marigold as border cropwas found effective in reducing weevil population.
  • Spraying yam bead seed extract at 5 and 2% proved efficient against leaf eating caterpillar in swamp taro in West Bengal.
  • Seed tuber treatment with Trichoderma viride(5g/Kg) and soil application of 1kg Trichoderma viride enriched compost per pit is recommended for reducing taro blight in Maharashtra, AP and Chhattisgarh.
  • One Wild boar scaring device was developed at YSRHU, Rajendranagar and was installed in sweet potato experimental fields in AP. The device uses solar power and makes light and sound at 10 min interval during night.

Survey of Pests and Diseases
All the centres conducted regular surveys, both roving and fixed plot surveys to assess the status of pests and diseases of tuber crops prevalent in their states during various seasons. Incidence of new pests / diseases could be noted during surveys and management measures were recommended. New pests and diseases were brought to the notice of experts at CTCRI for identification and further studies.