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The road to food security

  • Published at 10:22 pm October 28th, 2019
Golden rice
Golden rice IRRI

For a nation on the brink of development, food security is an absolute must

The fact that Bangladesh is close to releasing Golden Rice, a strand of rice enriched with Vitamin A, is most welcome. 

With a significant portion of the population suffering from Vitamin A deficiency (VAD), the formulation and release of Golden Rice can be one of the first steps towards ensuring that food insecurity, and thereby nutritional deficiencies, become a thing of the past.

As is evident, the people of Bangladesh are highly dependent on rice as their primary source of calories -- around 70% of their caloric intake comes from rice -- but this is not enough.

Since rice does not contain beta carotene -- the pigment which serves as a precursor to vitamin A -- many in the country suffer from VAD, and the inclusion of Golden Rice in their diets could very well solve that problem.

With around 3,000 children dying from VAD every day, it is encouraging to see the government looking to technological advancements to come up with solutions to issues of food security and nutrition and not allow misconceptions rule the roost and hold us back.

Genetically-modified crops such as Golden Rice can also help in our fight against climate change, finding ways to make agriculture a more efficient and contributing less to the overall greenhouse gas emissions. 

For a nation on the brink of development, food security is an absolute must and we hope such projects are taken in the future to realize the dream of a Bangladesh where each and every one of its citizens is provided for.