Biofortification (Flagship 2)

hands holding a cut open sweet potato

The tuber of a biofortified sweet potato plant. Source: flickr (Neil Palmer / CIAT)


One of the primary underlying causes of malnutrition is so called “hidden hunger,” or micronutrient malnutrition. By developing staple crop varieties whose edible portions are richer in bioavailable nutrients (through a process called biofortification), agricultural research can provide farmers with crop varieties that readily improve nutrition for millions of people. A4NH encompasses a program designed to do just that: HarvestPlus. Since its foundation in 2003, HarvestPlus has produced promising varieties of seven nutrient-rich staple crops, which are currently being released in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. These nutrient-enhanced crops are also being tested for nutritional efficacy in randomized control trials to ensure they effectively deliver bioavailable nutrients. Interventions to scale out the delivery of these nutrient enhanced-crops are also being planned. In addition, it explores the possible impact of the production and consumption of several biofortified crops in the food basket that represents the typical Latin American staple crop diet.