HarvestPlus, FAO Release Joint Brief on Biofortification


by A4NH | January 2, 2020

A farmer in Colombia inspects his zinc-biofortified maize. Photo: HarvestPlus

HarvestPlus and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have released a joint brief on biofortification that presents the latest research evidence and implementation lessons learned on how this agriculture-based nutrition solution can contribute to improved food systems and public health for all.

The objective of the brief, Biofortification: A food-systems solution to help end hidden hunger, is to “encourage the adoption and scaling up of biofortification through national policies and programs, with collaborative support from FAO and HarvestPlus,” according to the Introduction.

The brief concisely summarizes a wealth of essential information, including:

  • Availability, agronomic, and nutritional properties of biofortified crops worldwide;
  • Evidence on farmer adoption and consumer acceptance, the nutrition and health benefits, and the cost-effectiveness of biofortified foods;
  • Figures on the number of people growing and benefiting from biofortified crops;
  • Answers to frequently-asked questions about biofortification.

The brief also shares practical guidance on successfully integrating biofortification into policies and programs aimed at addressing malnutrition. The brief identifies types of policies to target, recommends specific actions (such as support for strengthening of crop breeding programs or strengthening systems for multiplying and marketing seed and planting material), and also includes guidance for decisionmakers on the costs of implementing biofortification.

HarvestPlus leads A4NH work on biofortification. For additional information about the brief, please read the full post on the HarvestPlus website.


An exploration of the process for establishing standards and specifications for biofortified crops throughout the value chain.


In 2017 HarvestPlus developed a new, 5-year strategic plan for 2018-2022.  The goal of this strategic plan is to establish the


Given the ambitious goal of the MacArthur Foundation’s $100 million grant competition — to find and fund a feasible, long-lasting