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CCMB develops a new rice variety that is pest resistant

Farmers will now be able to save over 20-40 per cent of their production of samba mahsuri variety of rice with Centre Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) developing a new variety that is 100 percent

Published: 21st November 2017 04:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2017 09:45 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Farmers will now be able to save over 20-40 percent of their production of samba mahsuri variety of rice with Centre Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) developing a new variety that is 100 percent bacterial blight resistant and has one of the lowest Glycemic Index (GI) value.

In 2016, the Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM)was cultivated over 1,30,000 hectares across the country and predominantly in blight endemic states like Telangana, AP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, etc. “It also takes 10 days lesser to be harvest ready. Though ISM doesn’t produce extra yield, being able to cut down crop loss due to bacterial blight results in additional yields,” said Dr Ramesh Sonti chief scientist, CCMB.

The ISM rice has been developed by CCMB and Indian Institute of Rice Research over several years of research, while testing was conducted by National Institute of Nutrition. It found ISM to have one of lowest GI of 50.99, thus having the potential to revolutionise the organic food market as well.  Foods with GI value below 55 are considered highly suitable for consumption by a diabetic patient as they release glucose in the bloodstream slowly, thereby reducing the ill effects of diabetes.

“Thus ISM, in addition to possessing desirable attributes like high yield, fine-grain type bacterial blight resistance, premium market price, also has the unique advantage of low GI, enhancing its market potential,” said Dr Rakesh Kumar Mishra, director CCMB.

CCBM and IIRR picked up a donor variety of samba masuri from Punjab that was low in quality and taste and was not easy to cook but was extremely resistant. Traditional breeding method of this variety with other variety of the rice was done and with the help of advanced biotechnology tools, the ISM was developed.

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