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ICAR-CTCRI has organized a tuber crops planting festival and farm inputs and implements were distributed to identified beneficiary farmers belonging to below poverty line (BPL) scheduled castes in Mezhuveli panchayat, Pathanamthitta district on 5th March 2022. In a function organized at Karithotta, Mezhuveli, the farmers meet was inaugurated by Mrs. Veena George, Hon’ble Minister for Health, Women and Child Welfare. Speaking on the occasion, the minister has lauded the good efforts of ICAR-CTCRI in spreading its technologies among marginalized sections of the society and expressed her desire to expand the activities in other selected panchayats too. Dr.M.N. Sheela, Director, ICAR-CTCRI delivered the keynote speech in which she elaborated various facets of ICAR-CTCRI technologies and extended all possible supports in future. Mrs. Pinky Sreedhar, President, Mezhuveli panchayat presided over the meeting. Sri. K.C. Rajagopalan, Ex. MLA, Sri. R. Ajayakumar, Member, District Panchayat, Sri. B.S. Aneeshmon, Member, Block Panchayat, Sri. S. Subhanandan, Member, Mezhuveli Grama Panchayat, Sri. T.V. Stalin, Assistant Director of Agriculture and Agricultural Officer, Mezhuveli graced the occasion by their presence and felicitations. Hon’ble minister has distributed 2500 kg elephant foot yam (Gajendra), 1500 kg greater yam (Sree Roopa), major, secondary and micronutrient fertilizers for preparation of customized plant nutrient formulations, Micronol microfood, vermicompost, PGPR I and II, AMF, Ayar, power sprayer, radio, spade, pick axe and crow bar to the beneficiary farmers under SCSP programme of the institute. Dr. G. Byju, Principal Scientist & Head (A), Division of Crop Production and the scientist implementing the project in the panchayat, in his welcome address, explained the importance of tuber crops in food security under changing climate and elaborated the aims and objectives of the project. Inauguration of planting of tuber crops was done by Dr. M.N. Sheela by planting elephant foot yam (Gajendra) in the field of a beneficiary farmer. Mrs. Pinky Sreedhar and Dr. G. Byju also participated among others.

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