Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Today's Tidbit

Researchers at the Central Rice Research Institute recently developed a hybrid rice, Aghunibora, that only requires soaking, not cooking, to be edible. Fifteen minutes in lukewarm water, and hour if room-temperature. They say it is a non-genetically modified cross between a soft rice and a traditional high yield rice. Seems so simple but just think about it for a moment. Yes, there still are regions even in this day and age where things such as cooking equipment and firewood remain too much of a luxury for all to afford.

Didn’t know the CRRI even existed? In 1942 rice in the Bengal Province of India was struck by a devastating brown spot disease which caused a serious shortage. The civil administration at the time failed to cope with the disaster which resulted in the Great Bengal Famine of 1943. That situation caused the Central Government to decide it was time to intensify research into all aspects of growing rice. On April 22, 1946 the Central Rice Research Institute was formed on 250 acres in Cuttack Orissa. In 1966, administrative control was transferred to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

The goal of this organization is to improve the income and quality of life of rice farmers in India. They are accomplishing this through crop improvement, applied technological advances, improved pest and disease management, research into growing environments and farming systems, and training. Today many of the researchers are housed on the campus which also includes a so-operative store, co-operative dairy and a hostel. Research is performed in both blocks throughout the farm and in various laboratories. Since its inception, the institute’s research has helped India to become the second largest rice exporter in the world. Imagine what’ll happen now with this new no-cook rice.

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