Scaling up Biofortification: Better Crops, Better Nutrition
Biofortification is a cost-effective, innovative approach to growing staple crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. The process builds on traditional crop breeding techniques to improve micronutrients while maintaining or exceeding existing yields and climate-smart traits. This intervention is at the crossroads of agriculture and nutrition, with varieties released in 25 countries and studies underway in 43. Today, 10 million people in rural households are growing and eating biofortified foods and peer-reviewed, clinical trial results show improved nutritional statuses. USAID is supporting scaling efforts for this fast-growing global movement to reach millions more.
Dr. Howarth Bouis, the director of HarvestPlus, discussed the nutritional benefits of biofortified food crops and their adoption by farmers and consumers in developing countries. Dr. Anna-Marie Ball, who led the USAID-funded orange-fleshed sweet potato program in Uganda since 2006 and now heads HarvestPlus’ regional advocacy and partnership activities, provided perspectives from the field, including those of government, the private sector, civil society, farmers and consumers.
In the media!
Film is increasingly being used as a means of promoting behavior change in smallholder communities. Actors from the Nigerian movie industry, termed Nollywood, teamed up to promote "Yellow Cassava" or "Vitamin A Cassava." Under the leadership of HarvestPlus, plant breeders used conventional breeding methods to combine improved South American cassava varieties, which had higher amounts of vitamin A, with local African varieties. View the trailer below.