Wednesday, 04 January 2012 13:14
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is developing a new variety of "Golden Rice," a genetically modified, beta-carotene-rich grain that helps combat Vitamin A deficiency (VAD).
"PhilRice is developing a new variety of Golden Rice," the agency said as Food and Nutrition Research Institute warned VAD continued to afflict children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers nationwide.
The new variety is targeted at resisting tungro and bacterial blight, the two diseases found to be the most destructive to palay plants.
Improved disease resistance will help raise such variety's chance for survival and production.
Golden Rice was invented by then Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Prof. Ingo Potrykus and University of Freiburg's Prof. Peter Beyer in 2000.
Such invention was considered as their gift to resource-poor farmers in the developing world.
The Golden Rice materials were made available to Golden Rice Network members like the Philippines, enabling PhilRice to eventually commence developing local versions of this grain.
By Catherine J. Teves/PIA9-ZBST
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