Monday, April 22, 2024

Harvestplus Makes Case for Biofortified Crops to Tackle Malnutrition 

HarvestPlus, a global agricultural organization known for its regular campaign on the consumption of healthy foods, has called for the adoption of biofortified crops, which are nutritionally enhanced foods developed, using modern biotechnology and conventional plant breeding, to tackle malnutrition.

HarvestPlus, a global agricultural organization known for its regular campaign on the consumption of healthy foods, has called for the adoption of biofortified crops, which are nutritionally enhanced foods developed, using modern biotechnology and conventional plant breeding, to tackle malnutrition.

The Nutrition and Post-harvest Manager for HarvestPlus, Olatundun Kalejaiye, made this call in Kaduna, while speaking during training organized for women to promote the consumption of biofortified crops.

Kalejaiye, while stressing the need for biofortified food, lamented that most of the major staple foods in the country, such as; cassava, maize, sweet potato, rice, beans, yam, plantain, and millet, were vitamin and mineral deficient.

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She disclosed that HarvestPlus is promoting the consumption of biofortified Vitamin A-rich cassava, maize, and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in the state as part of efforts to address malnutrition, and that the organization is working with plant breeders to naturally increase the nutrient and vitamin content of the staple crops.

Kalejaye said the essence of the program was to educate women on the importance of the biofortified crops, then make them available so that women would be able to buy them, process them into household meals, and consume them to meet the nutritional needs of their families, thereby preventing malnutrition.

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Speaking further, she pointed out that the women would be trained on how to process the crops to ensure that the nutrients were retained, and that they would also receive training on how to make money from biofortified crops by making them available to households for consumption.

“This is very critical for the women and community members to know the value of the nutrient- and vitamin-enriched crops for their nutritious wellbeing. The essence of engaging women to reach out to women is to ensure that women know the available biofortified crops and buy them for their family’s nutrition whenever they go to the market.

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