Explained: What is Golden Rice?

3 min read

News:Bangladesh could be on the verge of becoming the first country to approve plantation of Golden Rice.

Facts:

About Golden Rice:

  • Golden rice is a variety of rice (Oryza sativa) produced through genetic engineering to biosynthesize beta-carotene,a precursor of vitamin A in the edible parts of rice.
  • It is intended to produce a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas with a shortage of dietary vitamin A.
  • Research has indicated that one cup of Golden Rice can provide up to 50% of the daily requirement of an adult for vitamin A.
  • But presently,it has a low shelf life of not more than 3 months as it may lose its nutrients after that.

Golden Rice and Bangladesh:

  • The Golden Rice that is being reviewed in Bangladesh has been developed by the International Rice Research Institute(IRRI) 
  • According to the institute,this rice variety will not be more expensive than the conventional variety.

Additional information:

About Vitamin A:

  • Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is good for healthy vision, skin, bones and other tissues in the body.
  • Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) or hypovitaminosis A is a lack of vitamin A in blood and tissues.It is common in poorer countries but rarely is seen in more developed countries.
  • Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a variety of problems which includes: (a)night blindness (b) a higher risk of infections (c)follicular hyperkeratosis leading to dry skin (d)fertility issues and (e)delayed growth in children.

About IRRI:

  • The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is an international agricultural research and training organization with headquarters in Los BaƱos,Laguna in the Philippines.
  • IRRI is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to the Green Revolution in the 1960s which preempted the famine in Asia.
  • Its aim to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability of rice farming.