From our Class XII topic we have learned about the advantages of genetically engineering, psy gene from ornamental daffodil to rice. A novel "Golden rice" engineered by Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer, that is enriched with provitamin A (beta-carotene). The development of transgenic Golden Rice, is expected to progressively help children suffering from night blindness throughout the world.
Of late a farmer from Telangana Chintala Venkat Reddy in his 70s, has taken "a down to earth step". His experiments proved that peeled sweet potato, carrot and maize beans when boiled to paste and applied to soil, helped the rice and wheat plants convert vitamin A to vitamin D.
Let us recall Vitamin Ds (D2 and D3) are required in 400 -1000 IU per day for calcium absorption leading to healthy bone development.
Obviously fish, egg, milk and the less popular mushrooms, are a reasonable source of Vitamin D;
but unfortunately three of our popular cereals, wheat, rice and corn do not contain any.
Any other alternatives - Yes, exposure to the 4 o'clock sun alone ought to suffice the necessary vitamin.
But sadly in a tropical country like India, in spite of plentiful sunshine, around 90% vitamin D deficiency prevails among healthy individuals.
The Main Reason - due to socioeconomic based lifestyle.
It is at this point that CV Reddy's innovative approach shines bright. Just like the back to basic step helped Skoog and Miller isolate and crystallise “kinetin” - a search in his on farm by this padma shri winning farmer, is highlighting the need for all of us to focus on sustainable steps.
With the WIPO's patent in hand, it is we youngsters who should be combining these two innovations for overcoming India's hidden hunger.
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