A National Micronutrient Survey conducted in Kenya shows that 26.3 percent of preschool-age children between 6 to 59 months, 16.5 percent of school-age children aged between 9-14 years, and 41.6 percent of pregnant women had anemia. The prevalence of zinc deficiency is also high at 83.3 percent among children 6-59 months of age and 68.3 percent for pregnant women.


Penina Muoki

To help address this, through the multicountry Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops (CBC) Programme, HarvestPlus and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) are catalyzing commercial markets in Kenya for biofortified seeds, grains, and food products, focusing on three high iron bean varieties (see programme description below)

Starting in 2016, HarvestPlus worked on the Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Africa and Asia (ENRICH) project, implemented in 11 out of 20 wards within Elgeyo Marakwet County, and directly benefitting 324,200 people since it started. The ENRICH project focused on supply of OFSP and High Iron Bean for mothers and children.   Eighty percent of those reached are children under two years of age, reducing maternal and child mortality, and tackling malnutrition challenges while boosting nutrient-rich, diverse diets within communities.  

“Through the ENRICH project…, we plan to supply the [biofortified] beans and sweet potato to schools so that every child can get to consume these foods sustainably” — Ednah Cheboii Ministry of Agriculture Ward Agricultural Officer, Kenya

Biofortified Crops in Kenya*

Iron Bean

Year of First Release:
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 1

Vitamin A Orange Sweet Potato

Year of First Release:
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.

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Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops (CBC) Program (2018-2022)

In Kenya, the CBC programme aims to promote commercialisation of three high iron bean varieties namely, Nyota, Faida and Angaza. Nyota and Faida varieties belong to the red mottled type beans while Angaza variety belongs to the speckled sugar type; both types of beans are popular with farmers, traders and consumers. Currently the Nyota and Angaza varieties have been licensed to private seed companies for commercial production. This project is working with strategic public and private partners to develop a self–regulating value chain for the three varieties of beans. Capacity enhancement will be made among value chain actors including following the formal pathway to commercialization, where 11 percent of beans are traded.

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Biofortification news in Kenya

ENRICH Program Promotes Biofortified Crops in Kenya’s Land of Champions

Margaret Kurgat wades through her lush green sweet potato plot at the back of her house. In search of a meal for her guests, she reflects back on how things have changed since she started growing sweet potatoes on her farm. “I used to work as a casual laborer to earn a living and provide for […]

Building Commercial Standards to Boost Trade in Nutrient Enriched Crops

In every step of commercial supply chains, purchasers look to standards to ensure that suppliers are providing valid products and services. Standards are essential for buyers to know what they are getting and to document transactions so that users further along the value chain know where their product has originated. Standards allow for smooth transactions of goods, […]

Study Finds Strong Preference for Biofortified Cassava in Eastern Kenya

As the dissemination of nutrient-rich staple food crops intensifies, nutritionists are confident that millions of people will eventually get more critical vitamins and minerals from foods that are already part of their diets. Some of these nutrient-rich crops such as orange sweet potato with vitamin A or iron-rich pearl millet have already been released in […]