Bio-Fortified Maize (E)

Maize or corn is one of the important cereal crops of India with the country producing about 27 million tons per year. Maize is a very special plant that is far more efficient at photosynthesis as compared to wheat and rice as it uses a C4 pathway. Cereals are usually poor in proteins and now scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi have developed bio-fortified maize varieties that are rich in lysine, tryptophan and also endowed with pro-vitamin A with adding Vitamin E in the works. The institute has also developed newer varieties of baby corn, sweet corn, waxy corn, popcorn and a few weeks ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded dedicated to the nation three bio-fortified corn varieties developed at IARI for cultivation in the farmer’s fields. Corn also offers opportunities for production of bio-ethanol and corn syrup. High protein, vitamin and mineral rich corn can help remove mal-nutrition in humans and it also helps poultry get more nutritious feeds. These are non genetically modified corn varieties developed through molecular breeding combined with good old field based breeding techniques. Globally corn production has overtaken production of rice and maize and is supposed to be a plant that may do well under a changing climate.