News from Flagship Two: Biofortification

Micronutrient deficiency affects approximately 2 billion people globally and is caused by poor-quality diets resulting in low intakes of key micronutrients. Children who are micronutrient deficient in early childhood are at a much higher risk of infections, and less able to recover than healthy children.

Biofortification uses plant breeding to improve the nutritional content of food crops, especially staple foods that poor people already consume, in order to reduce inadequate intakes and micronutrient deficiency in the most at-risk populations. A4NH's work in this area builds on the strong track record of HarvestPlus, which leads the flagship, working to develop and deliver new, more nutritious varieties of staple food crops that provide higher amounts of vitamin A, iron, or zinc. By the end of 2016, more than 140 biofortified varieties of 10 crops were released in over 30 countries.

To learn more about A4NH's work on Biofortification, please visit the Biofortification Flagship page.

Below are news stories, blog posts, and other information that help inform research and progress in this area.

New Study Finds that Orange Maize Improves Vitamin A in Children

Biofortified “orange” maize can increase body stores of vitamin A in children. This is the finding of an efficacy study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study involved Zambian children who were fed either white maize, orange maize, or a daily vitamin A supplement over three months. The researchers found that >> Read more

Global Policymakers Commit to Scaling-Up Nutritious Foods to Reach Millions

Global policymakers, meeting in Kigali earlier this month at the 2nd Global Conference on Biofortification, committed to making biofortified nutritious foods more widely available in order to improve nutrition and health for millions of people around the world. 

CGIAR Commits to Mainstreaming Breeding for Mineral & Vitamin Traits

(Cross-posted from CGIAR.org, written by Frank Rijsberman.) When HarvestPlus started ten years ago as a joint program of CIAT and IFPRI, with the goal of tackling hidden hunger caused by a lack of vital minerals and vitamins in the diet through biofortification, they faced some big challenges:   Would it be possible to develop staple food crops with high enough mineral or >> Read more

New Partnership to Improve Nutrition for Millions

(Cross-posted from HarvestPlus website.) DAVOS, Switzerland, January 23, 2014. HarvestPlus and World Vision today signed a MoU at the World Economic Forum in Davos, making a commitment to work together to improve nutrition for hundreds of millions of people around the world who suffer from hidden hunger.