Andhra Pradesh will be identifying and promoting new varieties of rice with low content of carbohydrate, referred to as ‘sugar-free rice’ in common parlance that is more nutritious and can be consumed even by diabetic patients without the fear of their blood glucose levels shooting up.
In addition to BM 1100, a new variety of rice released in some pockets, two more new variants, 209 with longer grain and ‘Sonam’ are also being considered for cultivation in demonstration farms , according to government sources.
The issue of promoting cereals and millets with value addition to increase their nutrient value came up for discussion in the recent meeting of Agriculture Minister P.Pullarao with department officials.
He suggested that these varieties and also rice variety with low carbohydrates could be promoted for the benefit of all, specially the diabetics who are advised to cut down or avoid quickly digestible normal rice to keep their glucose levels in blood under control.
The Agriculture Department has been asked to promote the ‘sugar-free’ rice varieties by next Kharif.
However, agriculture scientists clarified that officially ‘no sugar free rice’ was being cultivated in Andhra Pradesh as yet.
The Seed Section in New Delhi Office of International Rice Research Institute (Philippines) also did not have ready information on the ‘sugar-free rice’ variety, they said. But out of all varieties of rice released so far in the State, ‘MTU 7029 Swarna’ has least amount of carbohydrates.
Some private seed companies in the State are into research to promote cereals and millets with value addition to enhance nutritional value and bring down carbohydrate content. However any value addition to cereals or millets will have negative correlation with yield, scientists observed.
The Agriculture Department will also be promoting flood resistant varieties of rice- Swarna sub and Samba Masuri sub- which can withstand 10 to 15 days of flooding without affecting their yield. They will be raised in 270 hectares of demonstration farms.