- Researchers from Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV),Chattisgarh have developed a protein-enriched rice variety.
- The new developed rice variety has over 10% protein content, which is 3% more than what is found in any popular variety and has 30 PPM (parts per million) zinc content.
• The protein-enriched rice variety was developed by researchers from IGKV’s Department of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
• They had worked for seven years to develop the variety of rice that is rich in protein along with high zinc content.
• This protein rice variety will play a crucial role in addressing issues of protein deficiencies and it will serve as a boon for malnourished population, especially children, in tribal-dominated Chhattisgarh.
Zinc-enriched variety of rice:
- Earlier in May 2015, scientists from Indira Gandhi Agriculture University (IGAU), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) had developed a high zinc-enriched called “Chhattisgarh Zinc Rice-1”. It was the first zinc biofortified rice variety developed in India.
- Zinc and other mineral content are not lost upon polishing. The rice has long self-life and used after keeping it for long time. Even it tastes just as good as the conventional variety.
Why is zinc so important to the body?
• Zinc is important to the body because over 300 enzymes in our body use it as an essential component in their action.
• Zinc is essential in supporting our immune system, in synthesising and degrading DNA, in wound healing and several other activities.
• Our body requires very small amount of Zinc, but if the level falls down to below normal it may result into growth retardation, diarrhoea, eye and skin lesions and loss of appetite.
- As per a survey conducted in 2015 very high rate of malnutrition was found among preschool children in tribal areas across Chhattisgarh which is considered rice bowl of the country. The survey had showed that over five lakh children in the state are underweight and stunted growth especially in the tribal districts.