Mysore/Mysuru: Roots and tubers are the underground secret treasures of nature which have many vitamins and minerals. Root vegetables are low in calories and high in antioxidants.
Roots and tuber crops that include potatoes, taro, cassava, sweet potatoes and yams are cultivated staple energy sources, only second to cereals. They favourably adapt to diverse soil and environmental conditions and a variety of farming systems.
Nutritionally, roots and tubers have a great potential to provide economical sources of dietary energy, in the form of carbohydrates. The energy from tubers is about one-third of that of an equivalent weight of rice or wheat due to high moisture content of tubers.
Tubers play a significant role in food security, nutrition and climate change adaptation. It is a symbiotic association of forests and human cultures, but this is at the crossroads as forests are on the decline. Many local communities preserve various varieties even to this day. They display a remarkable knowledge of the edible tubers that they gather or grow on the farms.
Several of these crops have been termed as being under-exploited and thus deserve more research input. In fact, they remain neglected and in this context a ‘Roots and Tuber Mela’ has been organised on Feb. 12 and 13 at Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry in city from 10.30 am to 7 pm on both days by Sahaja Samrudha in collaboration with Rotary Club of Mysore West. Entry fee is Rs. 10.
The focus of this Mela would be to sensitise the urban community towards the benefits of tuber consumption and explore more value addition and include them into the cultivation.
Jenu Kuruba, Betta Kuruba, Soliga, Irula, Kunabi tribes will be participating in the Tuber Mela along with their tuber collection. More than 25 groups are bringing different kind of tubers, food items and value-added products for display and sale.
Rare roots and tubers like air potato, purple yam, black turmeric and arrow root seed material will be available for sale, according to a press release from Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samrudha.
‘Cooking with Tubers,’ a contest to cook the most healthiest and delicious food using roots and tubers has also been organised on Feb.13 (Sunday) to introduce its nutritional value.
Contestants must cook food with tubers at home and bring to the Mela at 11.30 am on Feb. 13.
Interested may contact Komal on Mob: 98809-08608 or 70900-09911 for details.
- Thimmaiah of Chowdikatte village, Hunsur taluk, will display a giant-sized Greater Yam (Huttari Genasu).
- Horticultural Research and Extension Centre, Hassan, will display potato and sweet potato varieties.
- Limca Book of Records achiever and a cable operator by profession, Reji Joseph from Kerala is bringing different tubers for display.
- Supreet of Adakuru village in Periyapatna taluk, will exhibit and sell 60 different tubers.
- Jenukuruba Women Groups of Nagarahole will showcase Purple Yam.
- Mayasandra village farmers are bringing Air Potato for expo-cum-sale.
- Black, Green and Yellow turmeric, Mango Ginger, Arrowroot, different taro varieties will be available.