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Researchers conduct farmer field day evaluations, monitoring surveys, and adoption studies to understand farmers’ willingness to grow biofortified crops. Studies show in particularly that biofortified crops’ competitive agronomic traits—including high yield, fast maturation, and disease- and drought-resistance—drive adoption by farmers. What do the numbers show?

The first biofortified staple crop varieties were released to farmers in 2005—vitamin A orange sweet potato in Mozambique and Madagascar. As of the end of 2020, an estimated 9.7 million smallholder farming families were growing biofortified crops, compared to 1.7 million in 2014. See the Global Reach page for a breakdown by country

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Other ex-ante (before intervention) analyses of several micronutrient-crop and country scenarios, as well as a recent review of such analyses, have shown that biofortification is highly cost-effective when measured by the World Bank’s criteria of cost (in USD) per Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) saved. These analyses show biofortified crops to be in the range of USD 15-20 per DALY save—far below the World Bank’s cost-effectiveness threshold of USD 270 per DALY.

HarvestPlus has also developed the Biofortification Priority Index to help identify countries where investments in 13 different biofortified crops are likely to have the greatest impact on reducing micronutrient deficiencies. For each crop, the BPI applies an impact potential ranking system among 128 countries.

Learn more about biofortification’s cost-effectiveness.

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The Nigerian government is committed to improving the health of its citizens, therefore we encourage the consumption of biofortified foods.” Testimonial Block Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Productivity
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The Rwanda AgricultureBoard, HarvestPlus, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture started working together in 2010 on a practical, cost-effective solution to iron deficiency: enriching beans with iron through the process of biofortification.

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PARTNER testimonial The Nigerian government is committed to improving the health of its citizens, therefore we encourage the consumption of biofortified foods.” Testimonial Block Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Productivity
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Contact the HarvestPlus crop experts for more information about nutritional and agronomic characteristics of iron bean, growing, harvesting, and processing iron bean, and connecting with seed suppliers or grain buyers.

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Explore the HarvestPlus Varieties Released database for detailed information on all HarvestPlus-promoted iron bean varieties by country.

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Biofortified crops improve nutritional status and health when consumed as a regular part of daily diets.

Farmers are willing to grow biofortified crops because they are also high-yielding, contain several improved production traits, and are overall climate-adaptive.

Consumers prefer biofortified crops over comparable non-biofortified varieties (based on appearance, odor, taste, and texture); consumer acceptance (measured by willingness to pay) increases when consumers receive information on the nutritional benefits.

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262 HarvestPlus/CGIAR varieties of biofortified crops released
9.7M Smallholder farming households growing biofortified crops
Arun Baral
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December 17, 2021

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Provides up to 80% of daily iron needs for women of reproductive age and children when consumed regularly

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  1. Crop Development & Supply
  2. Engaging & Empowering Farm Families
  3. Linking Farmers to Markets
  4. Enablers for Scaling Up
  1. Phase A – Global
  2. Phase B – National
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Phase B – National

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Linking Farmers to Markets

Enablers for Scaling Up

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A Fair Bet: Promoting Biofortified Crops and Foods to Improve Livelihoods in Nigeria’s Niger State

To help scale production and consumption of biofortified crops, address food security, and improve the livelihood and nutrition status of citizens in Niger state, HarvestPlus Nigeria and other stakeholders partnered with the Niger State government to host the third edition of the Niger Wet Season, Agricultural Inputs and Equipment fair, with the theme of “Promoting […]

A Pioneer of Biofortification Receives Highest Honor from USDA-ARS

Ross Welch, a leading figure in the field of biofortification, was inducted into the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Science Hall of Fame at a gala event on September 10, 2014. The USDA- ARS Science Hall of Fame includes a very special group of scientists— “the best of the best.” Welch was a USDA– […]

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