The Time is Right for Biofortification in India – FAO Rep

On the occasion of World Food Day we are pleased to have Mr. Peter Kenmore, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in India, discuss the benefits of biofortified crops to India. Kenmore considers dissemination of biofortified crops an effective strategy in the task of improving nutrition. He thinks now is the time for India to adopt effective strategies like biofortification that will ensure food and nutrition security along with other favorable conditions like price stability and family farming. In this interview, Kenmore discusses “hidden hunger” and the importance of nutritious diet in the first 1,000 days of a child's life. An agriculturist himself, Kenmore applauds the role of HarvestPlus and its partners who believe in combating malnutrition by developing nutritious varieties of staple food crops using conventional breeding methods.

He refers to a recently published nutrition study, which has shown that pearl millet bred to be richer in iron was able to reverse iron deficiency in school-aged children in India within six months. Watch his short interview below.

Deadline Extended! WHO Calls for Biofortification Researchers

WHO2The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ specialized agency responsible for international public health, has announced a special consultation on biofortified crops to be held on April 5-8, 2016 in New York City. Co-convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Sackler Institute of Nutrition Science, the gathering will focus on “staple crops biofortified with increased micronutrient content for improving vitamin and mineral status in populations.” WHO expects that the results of the consultation will inform its work to develop global guidelines on fortification of staple foods with vitamins and minerals as a public health strategy.

In preparation for the event, WHO has issued a call for authors who are interested in preparing review papers related to various aspects of biofortified staple crops, such as breeding, consumption, adoption, and bioavailability, among others. Researchers working independently or as teams can submit their letters of interest by sending an email to WHO at nutrition@who.int no later than July 31, 2015. WHO will provide financial support for selected authors following its standard procedures for completing this work. Commissioned authors will be expected to present their work at the consultation in New York, and peer-reviewed papers will be published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

More information on the call for authors is available here.