Biofortification of crops in India for food and nutritional security

Photo courtesy: Sean Paul Kinnear

Crops such as wheat, rice, maize and millets have undergone redevelopment for nutritional enrichment. These biofortified plants will help South-Asian countries to attain self-sufficiency. Wheat fields ready for harvest, Ojhari, Uttar Pradesh.

Abstract: Malnutrition, caused by inadequate intake of balanced food, affects people of all ages including infants, children, adults, women and old-age people. Biofortification is a process of developing nutrient-rich crops through breeding approaches that provide sustainable and cost-effective solutions to alleviate malnutrition. The National Agricultural Research System (NARS) led by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed a series of biofortified crop varieties through breeding methods that have a balanced concentration of nutrients, are high yielding and ideal for meeting the country's food and nutritional security. Here, we discuss available biofortified crop cultivars for cultivation, effects of biofortified crops on human health and various challenges for the popularisation of these nutritionally rich crops cultivars in India.

The authors are Assistant Director General (Seed), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Principal Scientist, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI);  Principal Scientist (Seed), ICAR; Deputy Director General (Crop Science), ICAR and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) & Director General, ICAR, New Delhi, respectively. The article may be cited as Yadava D. K., F. Hossain, P. R. Choudhury, T. R.  Sharma and T. Mohapatra. 2021. Biofortification of crops in India for food and nutritional security, Geography and You, 21(147): 32-39.

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