BRIN developing highly nutritious rice to help fight stunting

BRIN developing highly nutritious rice to help fight stunting

The logo of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). (ANTARA/HO-BRIN/am)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) is developing a highly nutritious rice variety that contains additional nutritional elements to help tackle childhood stunting in Indonesia.

"The development of a high-nutrient rice variety continues to be carried out using conventional and modern technology in a collaborative, integrative, and sustainable way to improve Indonesians' life quality," a researcher from the BRIN's Food Crops Research Center, Untung Susanto, said here on Thursday.

Stunting is a disorder wherein children do not grow to their normal height due to a continuous lack of nutritional intake.

Therefore, to support stunting reduction efforts, BRIN has been conducting research to improve nutrition in rice using biofortification technology.

According to Susanto, biofortification technology is an intervention to increase the concentration of micronutrients in foodstuffs, starting from plant cultivation. It aims to increase micronutrients such as zinc, iron, provitamin A, and anthocyanin in black rice and brown rice.

"Biofortification is an effort to add nutritional elements in agricultural products through the natural biological process of the plant itself," Susanto explained.

He said his party is also carrying out research on the supporting technology to improve rice nutrition.

Biofortification of rice plants is expected to be effective in improving the quality of rice so that it supports the fulfillment of nutritional needs and prevents stunting.

Earlier, head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, said that the stunting reduction acceleration program aims to realize healthy, smart, and productive human resources and support the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The stunting reduction acceleration program should be implemented in a holistic, integrated, and quality way through coordination, synergy, and synchronization among all relevant parties, Wardoyo emphasized.

The government is targeting to reduce the stunting rate to 14 percent by 2024.

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