The DRC is a country of 94 million people, of whom 70 percent face food insecurity, and 43 percent suffer from malnutrition. An estimated 42 percent of children under five are stunted, and 32 percent of preschool-age children are anemic. An estimated 61 percent of children under five have vitamin A deficiency. 

COUNTRY MANAGER

Antoine Lubobo 


c/o IITA – Kalambo Office, P.O. Box 1860, Bukavu, DRC

+243 81512823

HarvestPlus works with multiple partners in the DRC to promote production and consumption of vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, and iron beans. Cassava is the most important staple food in the DRC, maize is the second most important, and beans are among the main staple food crops in the country.  

Key partners include  the National Institute of Agricultural Studies and Research (INERA) and the National Seed Service (SENASEM), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). In 2020, HarvestPlus began technical assistance to the government on the DRC Multisectoral Nutrition and Health Project (PMNS), a major biofortification capacity strengthening project funded by the World Bank.

Biofortified Crops in Democratic
Republic of Congo*

Iron Bean

Year of First Release:
2011
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 19
Vitamin A Cassava

Vitamin A Cassava

Year of First Release:
2008
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 4
Vitamin A Maize

Vitamin A Maize

Year of First Release:
2014
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 9

*Includes varieties shown to meet HarvestPlus standards. Other varieties may be available in the country.


Varieties Released Database

This searchable database provides information on all biofortified crops variety releases by country.


Areas of Expertise

  1. Crop Development
  2. Seed Production and Commercialisation
  3. Seed Distribution
  4. Value Addition
  5. Policy Engagement

Crop Development

HarvestPlus supports the National Institute of Agricultural Studies and Research (INERA) and the National Seed Service (SENASEM) to breed, test, and release varieties of vitamin A cassava and maize developed through our partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and iron beans developed through the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Seed Production and Commercialisation

HarvestPlus works with private seed companies, farmers, non-governmental organizations, farmer producer organisations, state seed corporations and national seed corporations to develop quality-controlled seeds.

Seed Distribution

HarvestPlus DRC collaborates with key stakeholders for the distribution of seeds.

Value Addition

HarvestPlus is engaging with SME food companies and processors to create value-added products and build supply chains for biofortified crops.

Policy Engagement

HarvestPlus DRC is working on the inclusion of biofortified grains in government schemes to reach communities with nutritious crops.

Featured Project

DRC Multisectoral Nutrition and Health Project (PMNS)

HarvestPlus is the DRC Government’s technical assistance partner for biofortification in the PMNS. We help strengthen the capacities of ministries, public agencies, private sector actors, and NGO partners to develop sustainable supply chains for biofortified crop planting material; distribution channels and technical support for farmers; vibrant post-harvest markets for farmer’s harvests; and, supportive policies and regulations. The project is also prioritizing engagement and empowerment of women.
Funder: The World Bank
HarvestPlus Role: Provide technical assistance on a full value chain approach to embedding biofortification in the food system.
Focus Crops: Vitamin A maize, vitamin A cassava, iron bean

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Biofortification News in the DRC

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At first glance, Rosine Faray Feza does not fit the profile of the typical rural farmer in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Well-educated and widely travelled, Rosine is seemingly more suited to a corporate boardroom than a farming field. But Rosine is, indeed, a farmer in the DRC’s eastern province of Bukavu, and she […]

Biofortified Crop Project Reaches Refugees in Zambia

Luvunzu Mutwale, his wife, and their seven children are from the Katanga region in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They fled to neighboring Zambia in 2015 to escape civil unrest at home, and they currently live in the Meheba refugee camp in Zambia’s Northwestern province.  The Mutwales farm a small plot of land in […]

Responding to COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of Congo

After being heavily impacted by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it, farming households in the east-southern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are fighting back and resuming their normal activities. HarvestPlus DRC, in collaboration with partners, is striving to reach vulnerable communities with naturally nutritious biofortified crops […]

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Join a growing movement to expand the reach and impact of nutrient-enriched staple crops in DRC.

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HarvestPlus Partners

We have more than 35 partners in the public, private, NGO, and policy engagement sectors who share our mission to improve nutrition and lives of people in DRC.

View Partners List