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127. Biofortification: Benefiting More Than 42 Million People in 63 Countries

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One of the solutions to combat the deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals is biofortification. Biofortification, unlike supplement intake and nutrient addition to foods, is an effort to promote intake of micronutrients by making crops with a high content of micronutrients that tend to be deficient in the area. 

On September 2, 2020, HarvestPlus, one of the pioneers of biofortification, released an update of the global map and table showing the prevalence of biofortified staple crops. As of the end of 2019, 63 countries have released (r) or are testing (t) biofortified varieties.

The biofortified crop varieties are promoted by HarvestPlus and the International Potato Center. These varieties have been developed using traditional crop breeding techniques to enhance the nutritional value of staple foods that are widely consumed by low-income households in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Among the biofortified crops promoted are vitamin A-fortified cassava, maize and sweet potato, iron-fortified beans and pearl millet, and zinc-fortified rice, corn and wheat.

The global map and table of biofortified crops around the world is available here.

 

Reference

HarvestPlus (2020) Biofortified Crops Map and New Table Show Global Reach Of Nutritious Staples. Accessed on Sep 4, 2020

 

 

Contributor: SHIRATORI Sakiko (Research Strategy Office)