"Corn and tubers are still not considered to be staple foods because people think they will be going against global trends by consuming them as their main food," he said here on Thursday.
"People think the world would consider them to be backward or famine-struck if they make locally produced food their staple diet," Rafael explained.
The Undana lecturer pointed out that locally produced food products were not consumed as staple foods in any NTT district.
"However, the Ministry of Agriculture continues to promote the `One Day No Rice` programme across the country in its effort to encourage food diversification," Rafael noted.
The main objective of the programme is to reduce people`s dependence on rice and encourage them to switch to local produce such as corn, cassavas, bananas and nuts.