About the Conference

Welcome to the official  blog for Biofortification: The First Global Conference to be held from November 9–11, 2010 at the Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center in Washington, D.C.

This conference is your chance to meet with experts from around the world to take stock of progress made in developing nutrient-rich crops, share lessons learned, and chart the future of this emerging agricultural innovation for public health.

Micronutrient malnutrition, or hidden hunger, afflicts billions of people. The major causes of hidden hunger is a lack of micronutrients in the diet. Fruits, vegetables, and animal products are rich in micronutrients, but these foods are often not available to the poor. Their daily diet consists mostly of a few inexpensive staple foods, such as rice or cassava, which have few micronutrients. The consequences are devastating and can result in blindness, stunting, disease, and even death.

Biofortification is an emerging science that promises to be cost-effective in reducing hidden hunger. By adding micronutrients to staple crops through plant breeding, scientists, nutritionists and other experts are creating a sustainable solution to helping the world’s poorest people.

Though biofortification is a new approach,   it is estimated that more than 300 scientists are working to biofortify staple crops in over 40 countries. Research, testing, and delivery of these new foods is moving forward at an ever-quickening pace. It is time to capture lessons learned to date and create synergy among the different researchers and institutions working to improve the nutritional content of staple foods eaten
every day by millions of the world’s undernourished people.