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.


Going Orange, Farmer Field Day from HarvestPlus on Vimeo.

Kevin Pixley and Maize Breeding 101 from HarvestPlus on Vimeo.

In the Media

First vitamin A-rich, open-pollinated maize varieties released, SciDev.Net, December 2014
First vitamin A-rich, open-pollinated maize varieties released, This Day, July 2013
HarvestPlus to reach 1.8m Nigerian households with bio-fortified maize, Royal Times, Nigeria, November 2012
Orange Maize, BBC: Science in Action, November 2010
Orange Maize to Curb Vitamin A Deficiency, IRIN News, November 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