Maize has become the staple food for more than 1 billion people in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Maize is high in carbohydrates but lacks essential micronutrients such as vitamin A.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient lacking in the diets of poor malnourished population. Vitamin A deficiency retards growth, increases risk of disease, and can cause reproductive disorders.

Maize exhibits tremendous genetic diversity, and there are many types with high levels of provitamin A, a compound converted into vitamin A when the maize is eaten. These have been used to conventionally breed new varieties of maize that are an important dietary source of vitamin A maize.

In the Media

First vitamin A-rich, open-pollinated maize varieties released, This Day, July 2013
Orange maize improves yields and nutrition for families in Zambia, Feed the Future, April 2013
HarvestPlus to reach 1.8m Nigerian households with bio-fortified maize, Royal Times, Nigeria, November 2012
Nigeria Releases Vitamin A Maize to Improve Nutrition, IITA, July 2012
Going Orange: Risk Taking in Zambian Maize Fields, Hunger and Undernutrition blog, May 2012
Orange Maize, BBC: Science in Action, November 2010
Orange Maize to Curb Vitamin A Deficiency, IRIN News, November 2010
Zambia: New Orange Maize Breed Coming,, September 2010
Tropical Maize Gets Vitamin A Boost,, March 2010

Other News

Vitamin A Maize on Offer at Experimental Biology 2011
New Strategy to Provide Maize for Millions
Scientists Find that “Orange” Maize is a Good Source of Vitamin A
Will Zambians Consumers Accept Orange Maize?
More Vitamin A from Maize?
The Tortoise and the Hare? Conventional and Transgenic Approaches to Breeding Provitamin A Maize


Going Orange, Farmer Field Day from HarvestPlus on Vimeo.

Kevin Pixley and Maize Breeding 101 from HarvestPlus on Vimeo.