HarvestPlus: Twenty years of enriching diets with biofortification

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by Arun Baral

It is an important year for biofortification: 2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of this nutrition-agricultural innovation, for which its pioneers were awarded the World Food Prize.

More than 3 billion people around the world, mostly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, cannot afford a nourishing, diverse diet that provides enough vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). While efforts to pursue dietary diversity—the accepted gold standard for optimal health—must continue, a healthy diet remains out of reach for a vast majority of the world’s population.

The consequences are dire. A staggering 2 billion people get so little essential micronutrients from their diets that they suffer from “hidden hunger,” the often-invisible scourge of micronutrient malnutrition.

To combat hidden hunger requires a range of context-specific combinations of evidence-based interventions that complement each other, including dietary diversification, supplementation, commercial food fortification, biofortification, and public health measures (like safe water, sanitation, and breastfeeding).

This post also appears on the HarvestPlus website

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