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.

Study finds that more nutritious pearl millet can meet full iron needs of children

Washington, D.C., August 12, 2013. A study just published in the, Journal of Nutrition shows that pearl millet bred to contain more iron can provide young children with their full daily iron needs. Pearl millet is an important staple food in semi-arid regions of India and Africa, where iron deficiency is widespread. Lack of iron impairs mental >> Read more

‘Superfoods’ to combat hidden hunger

Eight biofortified foods are being developed to combat nutrient deficiencies that can cause blindness and anaemia Fabiola Ortiz for IPS, part of the Guardian development network theguardian.com, Thursday 18 July 2013 09.51 EDT

Tackling malnutrition means quality as well as quantity

By CONSORTIUM, April 9, 2013 Fighting malnutrition is not just about giving hungry people more food. It is also about improving the quality of food that they eat. That was the message from Howarth Bouis, director of HarvestPlus, a CGIAR Challenge Program that promotes micronutrient-rich staple food crops through biofortification. In an interview during a recent visit to India, Bouis said >> Read more

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.