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Hyderabad, Dec. 24

Designer rice varieties, fortified with iron, zinc and vitamins, can help solve the perennial problem of nutrition deficiencies, according Prof Swapan K. Datta, Senior Agribiotechnology scientist from the Kolkata University.

Prof Datta, who was here to address a seminar on `Agribiotech - Food and nutrition security, felt that the Government should take the initiative to make the modified rice varieties to the farmers.

"We can use the robust public distribution system to make the enriched rice available to the people," he said.

Food insecure

Stating that about 84 crore people in the world faced food insecure and 40 crore people suffered from iron deficiency, he said rice, a staple food for people in Asia, could well be modified by way of incorporating vital nutrients.

Development of value-added rice would go a long way in making the affordable nutrition-rich food for vast sections of the population.

Later addressing a press conference, he allayed fears on safety of genetically modified foods.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 25, 2006)
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