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Meeting on ‘Multi-institutional Project Proposal on Arecanut and Human Health’.

Feb 08, 2024 : Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi

A meeting was held at Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi, with Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Government of India, in chair on 8th February, 2024 at 11.30 a.m. A detailed discussion was held on the arecanut in India, including the proposed 'Multi-institutional project on arecanut and human health’. Dr. Balachandra Hebbar, Director, ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod, put forward the merits and demerits of arecanut on human health. He also highlighted historical aspects of research carried out on arecanut and submitted the project proposal.

The Hon'ble Minister spoke about the importance of this study to educate the general public on arecanut use. She said arecanut consumption should be treated similarly to the consumption of coffee and tea, for which she urged the scientific committee to undertake evidence-based research to bring facts to the public.Shri Rakesh Ranjan (Special Secretary), Dr. Prabhath Kumar (Horticulture Commissioner), Shri Priya Ranjan (Joint Secretary-MIDH), Dr. Naveen Kumar Patle (Additional Commissioner, Hort.), Dr. Balachandra Hebbar (Director, CPCRI, Kasaragod), Dr. Homey Cheriyan (Director, DASD, Calicut), Dr. K. Satyamoorthy (Director of Research, SDM University, Dharwad), Dr. Ramesh S.V. (CPCRI, Kasaragod) attended the meeting and Principal Investigators from all the collaborating centres attended the meeting online and delivered their viewson the importance of arecanut and its use.The officers stressed upon the awareness to be created for the causes to human health by arecanut, since it is widely produced and consumed in India.

Dr. Prabhat Kumar mentioned the health issues associated with the consumption of arecanut and stressed the need for systematic studies to evolve evidence-based research in India.

Dr. K. Balachandra Hebbar briefed the participants that about 20 million people are dependent on arecanut for their livelihood. Arecanut is produced from about 9 lakh ha in India and its value is about Rs. 44,000 crores. He also highlighted the deliberations of the multi-institutional meeting held at Kasaragod on 14th of November 2023.

Dr.Satyamoorthy presented briefly the various proposals submitted by the institutions across India on arecanut research. These were broadly classified into the following categories: a) clinical epidemiology; b) metabolisms and metabolites of various cultivars of arecanut; c) cancer-related studies; and d) neuropsychiatric studies.

The house recommended the project and gave their consent to proceed forward.