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.

Orange Sweet Potato provide vitamin A in Africa

Conventionally-bred varieties of orange sweet potato (OSP) that provide high amounts of vitamin A are being used to combat vitamin A deficiency in regions of Africa where sweet potato is a staple food. From 2007-09, pilot programs successfully disseminated OSP to more than 24,000 households in Uganda and Mozambique, and assessed the impact.

Workshop on Pathway for Improved Health Through Food

The convergence of agriculture, wealth, and health was the topic of discussion at a workshop that brought together food industry representatives, scientists, agriculture and healthcare experts, and policymakers. Hosted by the McGill World Platform for Health and Economic Convergence and INCLEN International Trust, the goal of the event, which took place in New Delhi, India, >> Read more

Session on agriculture for nutrition and health at World Nutrition Conference

Marie Ruel and Jody Harris chaired a session, "How can agriculture contribute to improve nutrition and health?" at the World Nutrition Rio 2012 Conference. The session was well attended with a lot of interest in the presentations on biofortification, value chains for nutrition and the contribution of economic and agricultural growth to reductions in malnutrition.