A new report by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition recommends urgent actions by governments and policy makers to ensure delivery of high quality diets in low and middle income countries. It shows that poor diets pose a risk to mortality and morbidity that is now greater than the combined risks of unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use.
Published on September 23, the report titled Food systems and diets: Facing the challenges of the 21st century cites biofortification among its recommendations. It calls for improving the delivery of actions that already have diet quality as a goal, noting that “[b]iofortification is one approach with huge potential for scale-up. To further advance the potential benefits of biofortification, experience has shown that greater efforts to enhance programme participation will ensure effectiveness.”
The report advocates a repositioning of food systems from feeding people to nourishing people, and enhancing the ability of those systems to deliver high quality diets. Such an approach will help in achieving the SDG goal of ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, the report argues.
The Global Panel is an independent group of influential experts with a commitment to tackling global challenges in food and nutrition security. It includes champions of biofortification such as Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, and Rachel Kyte, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy.
Last year, the Panel issued its first policy brief urging policy makers to adopt biofortification as part of a nutrient-sensitive national agricultural research and investment strategy.