HarvestPlus is working with a wide variety of stakeholders in Pakistan to popularize nutrient-rich biofortified crop varieties. Partners include R&D institutions, food departments, public & private seed sectors, farmers, flour millers, academia, service providers, business partners, and members of civil society to popularize biofortified crop varieties. Our objective is to eliminate “hidden hunger” among the most malnourished populations in the country. 

Country manager

Dr. M. Yaqub Mujahid

HarvestPlus Pakistan
C/O Crop Sciences Institute,
National Agricultural Research Council,
Park Road, Islamabad,Pakistan

Landline (Office): +92 51 925 5032
Mobile: +92 331 544 5554

We are now renowned biofortified zinc wheat-growers and seed multipliers of the area. We enjoy growing biofortified wheat because we know that it is good for the health of our family, which gives us strength.” — Mian Abid Waseem (Faisalabad) Farmer

Biofortified Crops in Pakistan*

Zinc Wheat

Year of First Release:
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 3

*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. Policy Engagement

Crop Development

Harvest Plus helps the Research & Development Institutions of Pakistan to breed, test, and release varieties of high Zinc wheat developed through a partnership with the CIMMYT. With the support and collaboration of HarvestPlus, Pakistan National and Provincial Wheat Programs have released two zinc wheat varieties so far, namely, Zincol-2016 and Akbar 2019.

Seed Multiplication

These biofortified wheat varieties have been approved by the Punjab Seed Council under the Ministry of Agriculture Punjab for multiplication of certified seed, and are licensed to several public and private seed companies to multiply seeds for local farmers.

Seed and Grain Distribution

HarvestPlus connects buyers, flour millers, and processors to farmers. Commercial seed is distributed through agro-dealers, government agricultural input support schemes, and non-governmental organizations.

Consumer Engagement

HarvestPlus increases awareness of zinc wheat through consumer education, gatherings, and advertisements using electronic & print media.

Policy Engagement

HarvestPlus advocacy seeks to strengthen national ownership of biofortification through effective integration into nutrition and agricultural policies of Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments.

Scaling Case Study: Zinc Wheat in Pakistan

This brief describes the model applied in Pakistan by HarvestPlus and partners to rapidly scale up zinc wheat seed production and distribution to farming families, reaching 1.4 million households (comprising 7 million people) in the span of only six years.

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featured project

Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops (CBC) Program (2019-2022)

Project Focus: To addresses hidden hunger in Bangladesh by significantly expanding the reach of nutrient-rich biofortified crops and foods in the market. Funder: The governments of Germany and the Netherlands.Implementing Partners: Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and HarvestPlus. HarvestPlus Role: Advocating for the scale-up and commercialization of biofortified crop varieties to improve food security in Pakistan. Focus Crop: Zinc wheat.

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Zincol 2016 and Akbar 2019 Zinc Wheat

This marketing brochure in Urdu specifies details about Zincol 2016 and Akbar 2019 zinc wheat grown by thousands of farming households in Pakistan.

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Biofortification news in Pakistan

Pakistan Ramps Up Production of Zinc-biofortified Wheat Seed

Micronutrient deficiency, also known as “hidden hunger,” is widespread in Pakistan and is having profound effects on the health, development, and productivity of millions of Pakistanis. According to the National Nutrition Survey 2018, over one fifth of all women of reproductive age (22.1 percent) were deficient in zinc, with women more affected in rural (24.3 […]

Reaching 100,000 Pakistani Farmers Remotely Through a Unique Partnership

HarvestPlus is joining forces with Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) in a new partnership to expand the reach of nutritious zinc-biofortified wheat in Pakistan by leveraging mobile communications to engage progressive and smallholder farmers.  PAD supports smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries by providing customized agricultural information and services through mobile devices. Recent statistics […]

Women Key to Success of Zinc Wheat in Pakistan

In Pakistan, HarvestPlus and partners are promoting a more nutritious variety of wheat, the country's main staple food. Zinc deficiency affects nearly half of all children aged under five in Pakistan. HarvestPlus hopes that zinc wheat will reach at least 100,000 farming households in the country by 2018, and that women will be key to […]

Partner With Us

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

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HarvestPlus Partners

We have more than 40 partners in the public, private, NGO, and policy engagement sectors who share our mission to improve nutrition and lives of people in Pakistan.

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Pakistan Brochure

An overview of HarvestPlus activity in Pakistan.

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