India gets its first biofortified sorghum

Hyderabad, 5 July 2018| India’s first biofortified sorghum (jowar), with significantly higher iron and zinc than regular sorghum, was formally launched today. Developed by ICRISAT it was released for cultivation by Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth (VNMKV), Maharashtra. The improved variety ICSR 14001, released as Parbhani Shakti’ by VNMKV, offers a cost-effective and sustainable solution to address micronutrient deficiency. An MoU was signed today between ICRISAT and VNMKV for large-scale seed production and dissemination

Speaking at the program to celebrate the launch, Prof A S Dhawan, Vice Chancellor, VNMKV said “We are glad to partner in this important initiative that offers a solution to a major concern like high anaemia rates among women and children in India. Extensive studies on Parbhani Shakti were carried out on our research fields and we are happy to partner in efforts that will have a bigger impact.”

Dr Peter Carberry, Director General (Acting), ICRISAT said, “Our belief statement emphasizes that all people have a right to nutritious food. Biofortification is an important approach we take as it is cost-effective and sustainable. It addresses hidden hunger with no additional cost to its regular consumers and often sorghum is the cheapest cereal available in the market.”