Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Simulate Future Demands for Food and Nutrition

August 27, 2010

The diets and demands for staple foods are expected to alter together with global economic environment changes. This led economist Siwa Msangi and colleagues to assess these changes in relation to the long term impact of biofortification. They used a global agricultural market model to simulate future demands for food and nutrients under various situations. In their working paper entitled ‘Integrated Economic Modeling of Global and Regional Micronutrient Security,' they said that even if there is urbanization and increased income due to global trade, the need of the rural poor for micronutrients would still be dependent on staple foods because their incomes would still be too low to afford more diversified diets.

Biofortification of cereal grains is most effective for South Asia, while biofortification of roots and tubers would be most effective in Sub-Saharan Africa. The model could also be used to identify possible malnutrition ‘hotspots' in the future and to devise cost-effective schemes to address the problem.

Read more about the HarvestPlus working paper at http://www.harvestplus.org/content/changing-diets-what-does-future-hold.