Rice Current Affairs

Alternative cereals can save water: Study

According to recent study, if Indian farmers make big switch from growing rice and wheat to alternative cereals such as maize, sorghum and millet, it could reduce demand for irrigation water by 33%. This could also improve nutritional availability to consumers.

Methodology of study

The study was conducted by researchers from US based Earth Institute, Columbia University and Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. For their analysis, they had considered water as well as cereal-production data from 1996-2009 (period when cereal production grew by 230%). They had used proxy — Crop Water Requirement (CWR), which is product of water required by crop and harvested area to calculate water consumption in every district in this period, as actual water consumption data was not available.

Key Findings of Study

The combined production of alternative cereals was larger than that of wheat in the 1960s, but their relative contribution to cereal supply has steadily dwindled. These alternative cereals also disproportionately account for supply of protein, iron, and zinc among kharif crops.

The rice is the least water-efficient cereal when it came to producing nutrients, and was the main driver in increasing irrigation stresses. Replacing rice with alternative cereal production with maize, finger millet, pearl millet, or sorghum could save irrigation and improve production of nutrients such as iron by 27% and zinc by 13%. It can help distribute nutrient production across the country and reduce impact of single local climate shock to national grain production.

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018

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Protein-enriched rice variety developed by IGKV Chattisgarh

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.

Key facts

  • 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.

Advantages

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.

Background

  • 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.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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