Biofortification of staple food crops.


Deficiencies of vitamin A, iron, and zinc affect over one-half of the world's population. Progress has been made to control micronutrient deficiencies through supplementation and food fortification, but new approaches are needed, especially to reach the rural poor. Biofortification (enriching the nutrition contribution of staple crops through plant breeding) is one option. Scientific evidence shows this is technically feasible without compromising agronomic productivity. Predictive cost-benefit analyses also support biofortification as being important in the armamentarium for controlling micronutrient deficiencies. The challenge is to get producers and consumers to accept biofortified crops and increase their intake of the target nutrients. With the advent of good seed systems, the development of markets and products, and demand creation, this can be achieved.


Journal of Nutrition (2006) 136 (4) 1064-1067

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