Fine rice developed by CCMB to arrive in market

Hyderabad, September 30: After three stages of testing, the disease- resistant fine quality ‘Sambha Masuri’ variety of rice is finally ready to be launched in the market.

The product has now been licensed to be given to farmers as per an understanding between the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), that has been testing the variety for the last 5-6 years, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The field testing for the variety that is a cross between the high-quality ‘Sambha Mussoori’ with bacterial blight and a low-quality variety without bacterial blight, has been done by the CCMB for over three years. The variety was licensed earlier this year and is being produced for the last three months.

Sambha Mussoorie accounts for a major part of rice production in AP, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and many other states in the country. The newly-developed strain through the molecular breeding process holds the promise of improving productivity manifold while retaining all the virtues of the original high-quality variety.

The ‘molecular marker assisted development of new rice variety’ method adopted in producing the new rice variety is different from the Genetically- Modified food. The new variety has been developed by taking a lower quality rice variety strain as against taking a strain from a different species altogether as in the case of geneticallymodified varieties.

“This is a better option than genetically- modified food and a lot more safer,” said CCMB director Ch Mohan Rao.