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ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram along with theIncubation Centre, North Eastern Hill University(NEHU), and Department of Agribusiness Management and Food Technology, Tura Campus, Meghalayahas organised a “Biofortified Sweet Potato and Millet Food Festival” on the theme “Converging the goodness of millets with healthy sweet potato”at Tura campus on 23rd March 2023. This food festival was organised under the “IndradhanushAahaar Abhiyaan” (Rainbow Diet Campaign) programme of ICAR-CTCRI as a part of the International Year of Millets Campaign to encourage the students to develop and promote innovative recipes by integrating millets and bio-fortified sweet potato. The “IndradhanushAahaar Abhiyaan” (Rainbow Diet Campaign) programme aims at combating malnutrition of tribal people of NEH region by integrating biofortified crops in their food system. Under this programme, Incubation Centre (MSME Incubator), at NEHU, Tura campus implementing “Svasth Khao SvasthRaho” scheme for developing and promoting innovative and local products from biofortified sweet potato. This food festival was inaugurated by Prof. Sujata Gurudev, Pro-Vice Chancellor of NEHU, Tura Campus in the presence of Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, Principal Scientist of ICAR-CTCRI, Prof. G. Singaiah, Former Pro-VC, Dr. Gino A. Sangma, Head, Department of Agri-Business Management and Food Technology, and Dr. R. Sasikumar, Nodal Officer, Incubation Centre (MSME Incubator), NEHU Tura Campus.During the inauguration, Prof. Sujata Gurudev said that integrating healthy foods like purple-fleshed sweet potato and millets is the key to address nutritional security in Meghalaya. She advocated development of recipes with high market value will catalyse business creation and growth. Dr. P. Sethuraman Sivakumar, during his address, explained that the orange-fleshed sweet potato variety Bhu Sona is rich in Vitamin A and its regular consumption will eradicate Vitamin A deficiency while anthocyanin-rich purple fleshed sweet potato variety Bhu Krishna has anti-cancer properties. Dr. Sasikumar showcased and elaborated on the recipes and explained their culinary and nutritional qualities. During the food festival, the students prepared twenty recipesby integrating purple fleshed sweet potato var. Bhu Krishna and millets. Few attractions include muffins, cakes, pakkodas, paratta, kheer, baked chips, and halwa. The food festival was attended by 50 stakeholders including govt officials, private companies, NEHU faculties, and students.

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