Enriching Food Systems With Improved Nutrition: New Initiatives To Add Impact

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100 million people in rural farming communities are expected to benefit from biofortified crops by the end of this year. Yet, at the same time, frequent global crises and climatic challenges are leaving more people vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition and compromised livelihoods. Three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet and at least two billion people still suffer from hidden hunger.

Twenty years of enriching diets with biofortification, advancements in crop breeding, rigorous research findings, and adoption by smallholder farmers has proven biofortification to be a solution to improve nutrition, strengthen food systems, empower women, bolster resilience, and uplift the lives of millions.

There is now a global imperative to take greater strides to ensure the billions of people who cannot afford a nutritious diet can reap the benefits of biofortified crops.

To address this pressing need among the world’s most at-risk populations, HarvestPlus has adopted an innovative new organizational structure as part of IFPRI and in collaboration with CGIAR to scale up biofortification and other important CGIAR technologies.

As of June 2023, HarvestPlus works as an integrated part of the Innovation Policy and Scaling Unit in IFPRI’s Transformation Strategies Department, and collaborates across CGIAR, with a collective aim of securing a food-secure future for all. We are also unveiling our non-profit partner organization, HarvestPlus Solutions.

HarvestPlus Solutions was established as a catalytic scaling partner to complement HarvestPlus and increase the uptake of nutritious crops. It shares our vision of a world free of hidden hunger and will enhance demand and supply for biofortified crops and foods by building partnerships with the private sector and commercializing nutrient-enriched products.

IFPRI and CGIAR are supporters of HarvestPlus Solutions and its mandate to provide a range of services such as marketing and laboratory analysis to fill value chain gaps, and make it appealing, practical, and cost-effective for industry partners to incorporate biofortified crops into their products.

Over the coming years and beyond, HarvestPlus Solutions will be at the forefront of our journey to ensure nutrient-enriched seeds, crops, and foods are accessible to farmers and consumers in low- and middle-income countries. It will lead our delivery efforts through tried and tested strategies and through more and innovative models and approaches. With private sector partners, it will commercialize nutrient-enriched products, bringing more biofortified crops to markets so farming and non-farming families alike can eat them, and build demand for nutrient-enriched foods—safeguarding biofortified crop producing farmers’ livelihoods.

As part of IFPRI and by working alongside CGIAR centers and our partners, HarvestPlus will leverage our agriculture-nutrition knowledge and skills to drive meaningful change and continue collaborative research and policy activities that build an enabling environment for embedding biofortification sustainably in policies, programs, and food systems.

This new structure and initiative marks a pivotal milestone in the twentieth year of our journey—one we are confident will stimulate innovation and ensure a healthier and more nutritious future for vulnerable people around the world.

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