On October 27, SPRING will host a webinar with Dr. Howarth Bouis, founder of HarvestPlus, on incorporating biofortification into projects, and the potential of biofortification to improve nutrition through agriculture. Learn more about "Seeds, Stems, and Vines: Incorporating Biofortification Into A Project" here.
Micronutrient deficiency continues to undermine public health and prosperity in developing countries. Food fortification and supplementation have been effective at addressing these problems, but millions of smallholder farm families have limited access to these interventions. To address this problem, HarvestPlus and its partners have used conventional crop breeding techniques to develop staple food products that are rich in vitamin A, iron, and zinc (three of four most essential micronutrients identified by the World Health Organization). This process, known as biofortification, targets the nutritional needs of women and young children and offers several positive health outcomes including improved immunity and resistance to diseases.
Working with a broad array of partners, HarvestPlus has provided planting material, behavior change messaging, and other support to accelerate the development, delivery, acceptance and adoption of biofortified crops. More than a dozen biofortified crops are already being grown in more than 30 countries, and another 16 countries are evaluating these crops. 10 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are currently growing and benefiting from their increased nutritious value. Additional partnerships will be key to scaling up and mainstreaming in the years ahead.
This seminar will describe the complex and innovative process of bringing these crops from field to plate, the nutritional impact of the steps involved, and the scalability of biofortification. Dr. Howarth Bouis, the founder and director of HarvestPlus, will also dispel any myths about biofortification, share lessons learned, and provide ways to participate in the ambitious effort to mainstream and scale up to reach a billion people by 2030.