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Philippines Set To Test Hardiness Of New Vitamin A-Rich Rice Variety

September 9, 2010: 10:31 AM EST
The Philippines is set to launch field trials during next year’s dry season to test the adaptability and performance of new rice varieties rich in beta-carotene. According to officials from the Philippine Rice Research Institute, the government hopes that advances in vitamin A-rich rice research will help alleviate health problems associated with insufficient intake of vitamin A. Four of 10 preschool-age children and three of 10 school children are vitamin A deficient, resulting in poor eyesight, night blindness and damage to the immune system. Plant breeders have used conventional breeding techniques to introduce the gene for beta-carotene production into a local cultivar. The government plans to transfer the rice to farmers by 2013, when it can be grown organically and sold at prices comparable with standard rice varieties.
"RP leads in fighting vitamin A deficiency", The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), September 09, 2010, © The Philippine Rice Research Institute
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