Farmers to receive zinc-rich paddy seeds
Thousands of farmers in Chhattisgarh may soon get the opportunity of tackling the malnutrition problems by farming the high-zinc content paddy named ‘Chhattisgarh Zinc Rice-1’ (CGZR-1).
The one of its kind variety in India was developed by a team of Indira Gandhi Agricultural University (IGAU) scientists headed by the university’s Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department Professor Dr Girish Chandel early this year.
Talking to The Pioneer, Chandel told they have plans of distributing staple food grain seeds to the participating farmers in the university’s Kisan Mela scheduled on December 26.
“A large number of women are suffering from Anaemia in Chhattisgarh and many children from malnutrition. Since the State is known for paddy production, we thought of developing a paddy variety with high zinc content helpful in combating malnutrition,” he said.
“The zinc content in rice is usually between 14-16 micro grams per gram. We have increased the zinc content to 22-24 micro grams per gram,” Dr Chandel said.
Official documents focus on the high yielding potential of CGZR-1 variety claiming that it will not only provide sufficient zinc content to pregnant ladies and children but the mortality rate due to diarrhoea will decrease as well. Also, the variety will prove beneficial in proper brain development.
Stating the global scenario, Chandel said, “More than 840 million people in the world are devoid of Recommended Dietary Allowance of nutritional elements. As per the data available, around three million people are suffering from micro nutrient malnutrition because they cannot afford nutritious food such as fruits, vegetables and animal oriented food. One among every three children is suffering from zinc malnutrition.”
Micronutrient deficiency also called ‘hidden hunger’ can lead to stunted growth, inadequate brain development, blindness, impaired immune function and abnormal death. Hidden Hunger is most prevalent in ladies and children.
“Essential elements such as iron, zinc and vitamin-A are usually deficient in the diet of economically weaker section people,” informed sources from the Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department.
Few days back, the University’s Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr SK Patil had pointed on their several ongoing departmental experiments which are being carried out to benefit the people of Chhattisgarh.
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