The seven year research led by Dr. Girish Chandel, Professor in Department of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, IGKV, has led to the development protein-enriched rice variety. Children would be the main beneficiary amongst the most malnourished population in Chhattisgarh which is dominated by tribal. This variety of rice contains higher doze of Zinc content apart from 3 percent more protein found in any other variety and would play a vital role to fight protein deficiencies in the people. The new developed rice variety has over 10 per cent protein content and 30 PPM Zinc content.
According to a survey, a very high rate of malnutrition indicates a critical situation in small children who are found to be underweight and with stunted growth. Rice is the staple food of the state and consumed in almost all meals by the large population daily. Vast majority of people in the state are vegetarian and can’t afford pulses which are the good source of proteins and vitamins. But present variety of rice, which has mainly carbohydrates, cannot fulfill the requirements of proteins. Therefore this variety of rice developed by the Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalay (IGKV) comes as a boon to boost the daily dose of protein and Zinc especially those in the tribal belt.
Over 5 lakhs children in the state of Chhattisgarh are underweight. Leading among them are the tribal districts like Baster, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Kondagaon showing higher rate of malnutrition comparatively to other districts. With the government doing its utmost to eradicate the menace of malnourishment with schemes like ‘Vazan Tyohar’ (Weight festival) and nutritious meal week, this endeavor by the IGKV will help fulfill the aspirations of the government.