Bangladesh scientists have culminated in the release of the world’s first and new zinc-enriched rice variety, BRRI dhan-62, which could be cultivated in Aman season, has been released after a latest breakthrough in research in the field. It’s a short-duration high-yielding variety (HYV) of rice. The BRRI Dhan-62 is capable of fighting diarrhea and pneumonia-induced childhood deaths and stunting.
The scientific feat comes with Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) breeders succeeding in biological fortification (bio-fortification) of the staple with one of the most vital micronutrients zinc. BRRI dhan-62 is not genetically modified rice. The variety has been developed by genetically crossing with local variety.
The BRRI breeders developed the hi-zinc rice with support from Harvest Plus, which is a global bio-fortification mission launched back in 2004 under the Washington-based global agro-science coordinating body Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Zinc, iron and vitamin-A are the three most vital micronutrients, deficiency of which hampers children’s natural growth and decrease their disease prevention capacity. In Bangladesh, over 40 percent children under five are stunted while an estimated 44 percent children of the same age group are at risk of zinc deficiency. Each kilogram of rice of BRRI dhan-62 contained 19 mg of zinc and 9 percent of protein which will ensure high nutrition and will play a significant role in prevention of diseases; Zinc also played a vital role in prevention of liver-related diseases.
BRRI dhan-62 can be harvested within 105 days. Of the rice varieties of Aman season, BRRI dhan-62 can be cultivated within a short period. The yield of BRRI dhan-62 is 4.2 tons per hectare of land. The size of rice is medium. The zinc-enriched rice variety also outpaced two of the country’s best performing Aman season early-mature varieties: Bina dhan-7 and Brri dhan-33. Crop duration from seed to seed is 110-120 days for Bina dhan-7 and Brri dhan-33 while Brri dhan-62 can be reaped in 100 to 105 days.
India lags behind as Bangladeshi breeders succeeded in developing two hi-zinc rice varieties- one for Aman season and the other for Boro. The Aman one got the National Seed Board (NSB) nod yesterday and as per the mandate of the international collaboration, the zinc-enriched rice variety is now expected to expand to Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
For further details please visit: BRRI
read other related stories: