Golden rice to bring revolutionary change in rice farming: Matia

DHAKA, March 6, 2018 (BSS) – Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury today expected a revolutionary change will come in rice farming through introducing genetically modified golden rice in the country as the vitamin enriched rice variety will protect people from vitamin-A deficiency disease.

The minister said this while addressing a workshop titled “Progress and Safety Evaluation of GR2E Golden Rice” held at CIRDAP auditorium in the city.

After achieving commercial success in BT bringal, a genetically modified crop, in 2013, we are cultivating three GMO crops on experimental basis like golden rice, late blight potato variety and bt cotton, she said.

As rice produce almost 70 per cent of our daily calorie, the agriculture minister said that’s why consumption of only 150 grams of golden rice in a day will fulfill around half of necessary vitamin-a demand of a person.

The minister said the golden rice variety now is being cultivated in controlled environment as the scientists of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) certified that adequate level of bita carotene contain in per 10-12 grams of rice.

In last Boro season, the country achieved expected yield in the first experimental cultivation of the golden rice variety, said the workshop.

The agriculture minister, however, expressed caution over the cultivation of the variety as the BRRI will take necessary steps to release the variety at the farmers level after receiving food and environment safety certificate from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

IRRI is now leading the innovation of new rice variety and carrying out evaluation of the golden rice in the south-east Asia especially in Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Chaired by Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) Dr M Iqramul Haq, the workshop also was attended, among others, by BRRI Director General Dr M Shahjahan Kabir, Additional Secretary of the Agriculture Ministry M Fazley Wahed Khandoker and IRRI Director General Dr Matthew Morell.