The Hyderabad based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in association with Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR) has developed Improved Samba Masuri (ISM) variety rice with low Glycemic Index (GI).
Rice with low GI is considered suitable for people with diabetics. Consumption of food with low GI results in slow release of glucose into the bloodstream reducing the ill-effects of diabetes.
Samba Masuri (ISM) rice variety has twin advantages of being resistant to Bacterial Blight (BB) and at the same time also beneficial to the overall health of the body.
According to researchers, at present 40 per cent of the normal Samba Masuri crop is being lost due to Bacterial Blight. However, the new ISM variety of rice will significantly reduce this crop loss, which eventually would lead to reduced prices of rice and increased profit margins for farmers and traders.
The rice has the lowest Glycemic Index (GI) at 50.9 among all major rice varieties, which is an improvement over the 52.9 GI of earlier Samba Masuri variety.
The traditional Samba Masuri rice is commonly called Sona Masuri and Kurnool Masuri and has very low resistance to BB, a pest disease for which there is no chemical solution yet.
The Improved Samba Masuri is not at all Genetically Modified (GM).
According to researchers, farmers have already cultivated ISM in 1,30,000 hectares in 2016 and another 1,00,000 hectares in 2017 Kharif season, across seven States including TS and AP.
The old Samba Masuri rice is estimated to be cultivated over four million hectares across the country, annually.