Guyana Agri. Ministry partners with IICA to develop first bio-fortified rice variety in Caribbean

A section of the trial plot

“I’m very excited about this project. I’m thankful to IICA and CARICOM for starting the pilot project here in Guyana. This project is good, not only for Guyana, but for the entire Caribbean because, once released, this variety will help with not only curbing hunger but with malnutrition and promoting healthy lifestyles. I am eager for this candidate variety to be given the green light for release to our farmers. This will also attract a higher market value which means better prices for our farmers.”

Agriculture Minister of Guyana, Zulfikar Mustapha

(Department of Public Information) In Guyana and the Caribbean, rice is considered a versatile staple and is a key component in the diet of most Guyanese.

In an effort to promote healthy food choices among citizens, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Rice Research Station has collaborated with the Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to develop a bio-fortified rice variety with nutritionally enhanced Zinc.

Medical experts have recommended daily doses of Zinc to boost the immune system so that it can withstand infectious diseases such as the novel coronavirus. 

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha on Friday visited the rice research station, which is located in Burma, Region Five, to carry out an assessment of the trial plots currently under cultivation with the bio-fortified rice.

GRDB’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Mahendra Persaud, said that the strains are part of a breeding trial and will be tested over the next three seasons.

Read more at: Department of Public Information

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