African policy makers turn on to biofortification

Biofortification, or the genetic improvement of crops for better nutritional value, is an effort that was born in 1994 under the guidance of World Food Prize laureate Howdy Bouis. Biofortification seeks to address micronutrient deficiencies, or “hidden hunger,” by breeding crops for higher concentration of essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin A in foods that people eat every day. Biofortified crops complement other strategies such as supplements or industrial fortification, and reach an audience of the world’s poor that often do not have other options for improved nutrition. Biofortification was eventually consolidated as the HarvestPlus program of the CGIARinternational centers for agricultural research.