International Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has come out with country’s first biofortified sorghum (jowar), with higher iron and zinc content than the regular sorghum. The ICSR 14001 variety was taken up under the sorghum biofortification project HarvestPlus.
The sorghum variety has been named as ‘Parbhani Shakti’ by its maiden user, Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth (VNMKV) of Maharashtra. ICRISAT and VNMKV have signed an agreement for seed multiplication to let more farmers benefit from the improved variety.
The new variety has an average grain Fe (iron) concentration of 45 ppm (parts per million) and Zn (zinc) 32 ppm, which is higher than traditional varieties with 30 ppm (Fe) and 20 ppm (Zn) respectively.
Besides it has higher protein (11.9 per cent) and low phytate content (4.14 mg/100g) as against 10 per cent protein and 7.0 mg/100g phytates content in most sorghum cultivars. Low-phytate means increased bioavailability of nutrients.