THAKURGAON: Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Dr Md Shahjahan Kabir has stressed on consumption of bio-fortified zinc rice to free children, women and common people from malnutrition-related complicacies.
“Regular consumption of bio-fortified zinc rice can meet nutrition of the people of all ages alongside enhancing their immunity against the coronavirus (Covid-19) to remain safe to a greater extent from the deadly virus,” he said.Dr Kabir viewed this while visiting a zinc rice field on 140 hectares of land and participating in a farmers’ field day on BRRI dhan74 zinc rice at village Chengria Prodhanipara in Haripur upazila of Thakurgaon district as the chief guest.
HarvestPlus Bangladesh and World Vision Bangladesh with assistance of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) organised the events for zinc rice extension, adaptation and commercialisation in Thakurgaon, reports BSS.
The Global Affairs Canada funded in arranging the events under the Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health project.
World Vision Canada, Nutritional International and the Canadian Society for International Health are implementing partners of the project in Kenya, Tanzania, and Bangladesh while HarvestPlus is the technical partner for bio-fortification.
HarvestPlus is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health based at the International Food Policy Research Institute at Washington DC.
HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting bio-fortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals and providing global leadership on bio-fortification evidence and technology.Presided over by Haripur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Abdul Karim, Deputy Director (Seed Marketing) of BADC at Dinajpur Md Mozaharul Islam, Deputy Director of the DAE for Thakurgaon Md Abu Hussain and Country Manager of HarvestPlus Bangladesh Dr Md Khairul Bashar were present as special guests.
Deputy Country Manager of HarvestPlus Bangladesh Dr Md Abu Saleque in his welcome speech said zinc is an important essential micronutrient for the human body and everyone requires it in small amounts, but daily.
Available sources of zinc are meat, fish, milk, egg etcetera which are mostly unaffordable by the poor people in their daily diet every day.
“An adult person requires 9-12 mg, pregnant or lactating mother requires 12-15 mg and children require 3-5 mg zinc every day, but they get one third of their requirement and rest remain lacking every day,” he said.
Dr Bashar said one in every three people globally suffers from hidden hunger and women while children are especially vulnerable and zinc rice could be a sustainable and cost-effective solution to meet the daily zinc requirement.
The chief guest lauded HarvestPlus Bangladesh for promoting nutrition and public health through disseminating micro-nutrient-rich bio-fortified zinc rice in Bangladesh and providing global leadership to the expansion of bio-fortification technologies.