A new Improved Samba Masuri (ISM) rice variety has twin advantages of being resistant to Bacterial Blight (BB) and at the same time also beneficial to the overall health of the body.
The improved Samba Masuri (ISM) is not only resistant to bacteria blight but also has a low Glycemic Index (GI) considered suitable for those with diabetes.
According to researchers, at present 40 per cent of the normal Samba Masuri crop is being lost due to Bacterial Blight. However, the new ISM variety of rice will significantly reduce this crop loss, which eventually would lead to reduced prices of rice and increased profit margins for farmers and traders.
CCMB Director Dr Rakesh Kumar Mishra congratulated all scientists involved in the research, which has been going for nearly two decades. "The development of a rice variety which has high yield, great taste, low GI and complete resistance to BB is an achievement to be proud of," he said.
The old Samba Masuri rice is estimated to be cultivated over four million hectares across the country, annually. The scientists expressed hope that both Central and State governments would push for cultivation of ISM through subsidies to farmers.