New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced that India is releasing bio-fortified crop varieties. The announcement is part of the Narendra Modi government’s multi-crore Covid relief measures. The Ministry of Finance said the release of climate resilient special traits varieties will help fight malnutrition and improve farmers’ income.Also Read - Massive Fire Breaks Out in Assam's Karbi Anglong, Properties Worth Lakhs Gutted

What Are Climate Resilient Bio-Fortified Crop Varieties?

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) will release 21 Climate-resilient and bio-fortified special varieties of crops, the Ministry of Finance said. Also Read - Shehnaaz Gill Writes Sidharth Shukla's Name First While Signing Autograph, SidNaaz Fans Get Emotional- Watch Video

These bio-fortified crop varieties have high nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin-A. Also Read - Flight Operations at Delhi's IGI Airport Disrupted After Rains; Several Delayed, 2 Diverted to Amritsar And Jaipur | Deets Inside

The climate resilient varieties with high nutritional content, without having to add supplements, will greatly help the farmers increase income, the Ministry of Finance said.

These bio-fortified crop varieties are tolerant to disease, insects pests, drought, salinity, and flooding, early maturing and amenable to mechanical harvesting, the Ministry of Finance said.

The 21 such varieties of rice, peas, millet, maize, soyabean, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean, pigeon pea and sorghum will be released.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance today said, “Earlier, focus of research was on developing higher yield crop varieties. Attention towards nutrition, climate resilience and other traits were missing.”

Earlier, in its bulletin entitled, “Biofortified Varieties: Sustainable Way to Alleviate Malnutrition”, Indian Council of Agricultural Research said it had recognized the pressing need for the nutritional biofortification of the staples and initiated many programmes in different crops. ICAR said it had initiated biofortification in crops as a sustainable and cost-effective solution to alleviate malnutrition. Biofortified varieties assume great significance to achieve nutritional security of the country.