India releases nutrient-fortified rice and other crop varieties

 Rice Today   |  

High-zinc rice and protein-enriched wheat developed by the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) are among the several crop varieties that have been released for cultivation. Other newly released biofortified crops developed by ICAR include hybrid maize varieties enriched with lysisne and tryptophan, and millet rich in calcium, iron, and zinc.

These new varieties of 16 different crops are up to 3 times more nutritious than the traditional varieties and aim to reduce the incidence of malnutrition in the country.

Read the story at Thr Times of India

More on nutrition and food security:

Nutrition & Food Security
Food security goes beyond hunger – it stretches to include regular access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food. While the number of people suffering from hunger globally is rising above 820 million, an additional 1.3 billion people are affected by moderate levels of nutrition insecurity because they have inadequate access to safe and nutritious food.

More than half of the world’s population, including many of those living in poverty, rely on rice for most of their daily calories because they cannot afford – or do not have access to – nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy. As a result, malnutrition is a real threat, creating immediate and long-term health problems including stunting, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Food imperatives in context of the agriculture, nutrition, and environment nexus
Food systems are at the nexus of food security, nutritional health, ecosystems, climate change, and prosperity. The Green Revolution enabled countries in South Asia to move from food deficit to self-sufficiency, particularly in cereals. In the process, millions were lifted out of poverty. Despite this, we find ourselves dealing with the “triple burden” of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and over nutrition. Levels of stunting in children under 5 years of age and anaemia in women remain shockingly high across South Asia. In addition, climate change is already having an impact on agriculture with increasing frequency of extreme weather events.

A new paradigm on food systems is essential if we are to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The year-end issue ‘Food Imperatives’ of the popular journo-magazine ‘Geography and You’, that I had the privilege of guest-editing with contributions from technical experts in related fields, contains a series of articles that sets out some new thinking.

Staple cereals remain the key to solving global hunger
Global chronic hunger has declined faster than hidden hunger thanks to large-scale food security programs around the world. This is a testament to the power of development-driven research, unwavering level of commitment, science-based foresight, and global cooperation and investment. While there is still a need to eradicate chronic hunger in many areas, renewed investment efforts on nutrition-driven programs need to be made to also get rid of hidden hunger.

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