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Linking Agriculture and Nutrition: An Ex-ante Analysis of Zinc Biofortification of Rice in India

Publisher: Agricultural Economics Research Review

Biofortification has been recognized as a promising option to combat the micronutrient deficiencies, including zinc deficiency. Rice is the staple food crop in India, but, the daily zinc requirement cannot be achieved through typical rice-based vegetarian diet. ICAR- IIRR has developed the high zinc-content rice variety, ‘DRR Dhan 45’, with overall mean zinc content of 23.66 ppm in polished rice. This study has measured the potential impact of zinc-biofortified rice using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) saved based on the counterfactual approach, estimating the impact as the difference in the number of DALYs attributable to zinc deficiency before and after the introduction of the zinc-biofortified rice. The current zinc-content of the popular rice varieties is about 13 ppm and the potential zinc content of the biofortified rice is 23-24 ppm with a potential increase of 80 per cent. The calculated annual burden of zinc deficiency in India in 2011 is 1.3 million DALYs lost and with biofortified rice this burden could be lowered up to 35 per cent. The study has revealed that the cost of saving one healthy life year through zinc biofortification of rice costs US$ 20 under pessimistic scenario and US$ 3 under optimistic scenario,proving the cost-effectiveness of the intervention.

Author(s): B. Nirmala, D.Sanjeeva Rao, P. Muthuraman, Amtul Waris, C.N. Neeraja, V.Ravindra Babu | Views(204) | Download (108)

  
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