Crop Biotech Update

Reversing Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies by Fortifying Crops

December 10, 2010

"Hunger and under-nutrition is such an enormous global challenge that it demands innovative technical, operational, and institutional solutions," says Dr. Bruce Cogill, chief of nutrition at USAID. This is the reason why the USAID has provided a grant to HarvestPlus in the amount of US$1.3 million to improve the nutrient content of seven staple crops.

HarvestPlus is an alliance of over 200 agriculture and nutrition scientists and development program implementers to conduct international and food research activities for sufficient and better quality food for the needy. Currently, biofortification initiatives are towards the enrichment for iron, zinc and vitamin A of major staple crops. Breeding nutrients into staple foods is a viable strategy given that the biofortified crop will be able to reach people who currently have limited access to viable healthcare systems or commercially processed fortified foods.

For details, see the news release at http://www.usaid.gov/press/frontlines/fl_nov10/p05_vitamin101110.html