What if low-income rural households could get the vitamins and minerals they need in staple foods they eat every day?

They can. Through a crop breeding process called biofortification, micronutrient-enriched, climate-smart varieties of 11 common staples provide essential iron, zinc, and vitamin A to rural households to improve nutritional status, health, and livelihoods.

Deficiencies in these three micronutrients account for the majority of the global health burden from hidden hunger affecting more than 2 billion people, mostly in low- and middle-income countries.

Delivering Nutrition to Increase Resilience…
Sustainably and Affordably

HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR and leads a global movement to rapidly scale up production and consumption of biofortified staple crops and foods made with them. These crops are scientifically shown to improve nutrition and health when eaten regularly, particularly for women and young children, who are most vulnerable to hidden hunger.

Our work is partner-focused: We enable and empower others to sustainably embed bioforitfication in food systems to improve nutrition equitably and cost-effectively for the most vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries. We also prioritize partnerships with women—as household members, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

We take a value chain approach to scaling up biofortification that also generates livelihood opportunities for farming households, as well as SME entrepreneurs in seed, crop, and food markets.

Varieties promoted by HarvestPlus and its CGIAR partners replace low-nutrient, nonbiofortified counterparts on a one-for-one basis, and they don’t cost farming households any more to grow. The higher micronutrient content stays in the plant harvest after harvest. They are a nutrition source controlled by farming households, in foods that are familiar to them.

Biofortification is a proven nutrition strategy to ensure that all available foods are as nutritious as possible–including staples, which are the foundation of diets.

Our Vision

A world free of hidden hunger where families, communities, and countries can reach their full potential.

Our Mission

Empower partners worldwide to address hidden hunger by sustainably scaling up biofortification, as a nutrition response and livelihood benefit for rural and low-income communities.

Our Goal

By 2030, 1 billion people are regularly eating nutritious biofortified crops and foods, helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending all forms of malnutrition.

Our Principles
Evidence-based: Grounded in scientific research

Partner-driven: Enabling others to ensure sustainability

Demand-led: Aligned with expressed priorities of farming families and their countries

Gender-empowering: Prioritizing engagement with women and girls

Inclusive: Focused on low-income, remote, and marginalized communities

Innovative: Harnessing technology to drive scale

Key Metrics (2023)
103 Million people in farming families eating nutrient-enriched food
443 varieties of nutrient enriched staple crops farmer can grow
20.7 Million households growing nutrient enriched crop varieties
3000+ global partners scaling biofortification
core capabilities
  1. Crop Development
  2. Empowering Farmers
  3. Catalyzing Markets
  4. Marshalling Evidence
  5. Sharing Knowledge
  6. Advancing Policy

Crop Development

Technical leadership on biofortified crop research and development (micronutrient targeting) with global, national, and private-sector breeding partners.

Empowering Farmers

Work with public, private, and NGO partners to engage, train, and empower smallholder farming households to access and grow nutritious biofortified crops; link them with markets to sell surplus harvest to improve livelihoods.

Catalyzing Markets

Strengthen biofortified seed, crop, and food value chains through partnerships with value chain actors, to benefit smallholder farmers and extend the reach of better nutrition to consumers.

Marshalling Evidence

Expand and communicate the scientific evidence base for biofortification’s nutrition, health, socio-economic, and cost-effectiveness impacts, through research collaborations, dissemination of results, and impact measurement and evaluation.

Sharing Knowledge

Ensure broad access to and discussion of all aspects of biofortification through the HarvestPlus Biofortification Hub, publications, events, multimedia, and social media.

Advancing Policy

Strengthen enabling environments for biofortification through evidence-led engagement with global, regional, and national, and sub-national decisionmakers; standard-setting bodies; and multilateral agencies.

HarvestPlus in Brief

This handout summarizes what we do, our core competencies, and how we partner to scale.