HarvestPlus coordinates Nigeria’s staple crop biofortification program, which launched in 2010 to help address micronutrient deficiency—particularly vitamin A deficiency, which affects 30 percent of Nigerian children under five.


Yusuf Dollah

HarvestPlus Nigeria c/o IITA Idi-Ose,
PMB 5320 Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria

+234 806 5423977

So far, nine vitamin A biofortified varieties of cassava, eleven varieties of vitamin A maize, and three varieties of vitamin A orange sweet potato have been released. Several other crops are in development, with iron-zinc sorghum and iron pearl millet in advanced stages. 

At the end of 2020, 1.76 million smallholder farming families were growing vitamin A cassava and 756,000 were growing vitamin A maize. Through innovative programs such as the annual Nutritious Food Fair and the Smart Mother Platform.

HarvestPlus Nigeria also engages stakeholders in seed and food value chains, and sensitizes farming families on the importance of nutritious diets and empowers them to grow  biofortified crops.  

The Nigerian government is committed to improving the health of its citizens, therefore we encourage the consumption of biofortified foods.” Senator Bima Muhammed Enagi Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Productivity (2019-2023) 9th National Assembly, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Biofortified Crops in Nigeria*

Vitamin A Cassava

Vitamin A Cassava

Year of First Release:
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 6

Vitamin A Orange Sweet Potato

Year of First Release:
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 3
Vitamin A Maize

Vitamin A Maize

Year of First Release:
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 10

*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 Multiplication
  3. Seed and Grain Distribution
  4. Consumer Engagement
  5. Market Development

Crop Development

We breed, test and release biofortified varieties of cassava and maize in partnership with IITA, the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI-Umudike), the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR-Zaria), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). We are in advanced development stages for biofortified varieties of sorghum and pearl millet with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and banana with IITA.

Seed Multiplication

HarvestPlus works with over 50 public and private sector partners to multiply and deliver these varieties to farmers using sustainable value chain platforms.

Seed and Grain Distribution

Our network of extension agents, aggregators, and rural facilitators receive periodic training on best agronomic and cost-saving practices to achieve maximum yield. They pass along this knowledge to farmers at the household level.

Consumer Engagement

We create public awareness campaigns and leverage the power of media and advocacy platforms (including Nollywood) to increase consumers’ knowledge of biofortified foods and their benefits.

Market Development

We create and strengthen consumer demand by supporting commercial processing of vitamin A cassava and maize into popularly consumed products such as gari, fufu, tuwo, and custard that are marketed nationwide. Innovative strategies to promote adoption and consumption include model one-stop shops and an online market (Agroshop) where consumers can buy vitamin A cassava stems, tubers, and ready-to-eat products such as pies, cakes, and fufu.

Food Labeling & Marketing

Vitamin A Maize and Vitamin A Cassava in Nigeria

The Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops Programme produced this guide to facilitate trade in vitamin A cassava and maize products in Nigeria, by helping food producers and sellers to accurately label and promote them.

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Biofortification news in Nigeria

Biofortified Crops Take Center Stage at Nigerian Food Fair

The second annual Nutritious Food Fair opened today at the Calabar International Conference Center in the Nigerian state of Cross-River. The three-day event organized by HarvestPlus is showcasing biofortified crops and derivative products as well as associated local processing technologies. Nigerian farmers and consumers currently have access to two biofortified crops—vitamin A “yellow” cassava and […]

Ensuring Delivery of Biofortified Crops and Foods Amid COVID-19 in Nigeria

The global spread of COVID-19 pandemic disrupted agricultural value chains in numerous countries, affecting both food production and supply. In Nigeria, the official pandemic response during April and May included total lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun States, while other states had partial lockdowns with curfews. For Oyo State (where HarvestPlus Nigeria is located), the […]

GAIN, HarvestPlus Launch Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops Programme in Nigeria

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and HarvestPlus have launched the Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops (CBC) Programme in Nigeria to significantly increase access to biofortified seeds, grains, and foods via commercial channels in Africa’s most populous country. The programme will facilitate a commercial delivery system for biofortified crops such as vitamin A cassava and vitamin A maize.  Born […]

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HarvestPlus Partners

We have more than 85 partners in the public, private, NGO, and policy engagement sectors who share our mission to improve nutrition and lives of people in Nigeria.

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Nigeria Brochure

An overview of HarvestPlus activity in Nigeria.

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