Some 1,000 experts, including representatives from HarvestPlus, will gather in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from June 2 to 6 to discuss ways to reduce micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiencies. These deficiencies, also known as hidden hunger, affect nearly one in three people globally, leaving adults and children at increased risk of stunting, anemia, blindness, infectious diseases, and even death.

The Micronutrient Forum Global Conference 2014 is themed “Bridging Discovery and Delivery” and aims to create linkages and shared responsibility among various stakeholders, including from the nutrition, health, agriculture, social protection and food security sectors.

“It’s been five years since the last conference and a lot has happened in the micronutrient field since then, notably the emergence of biofortification as a viable nutrition strategy,” says Erick Boy, the Head of Nutrition at HarvestPlus. “Indeed, this conference comes on the heels of the highly successful Second Global Conference on Biofortification in Kigali, Rwanda, which engaged high-level policymakers, business and private sector partners on expanding the delivery of biofortified nutritious crops. The Micronutrient Forum is a great opportunity for us to build on the momentum generated in Kigali and to further spread the message about biofortification’s potential to contribute to alleviating hidden hunger among the most affected populations of the world.”

HarvestPlus is a founding partner of the Micronutrient Forum. HarvestPlus leads a global partnership to improve nutrition and public health through biofortification – a novel process of breeding micronutrients directly into staple food crops that are eaten regularly by millions of people worldwide. More than one-and-a-half million farmers are already growing and eating these nutritious crop varieties.

At the Micronutrient Forum Global Conference, HarvestPlus will host a symposium that will summarize the latest research findings on efficacy of biofortified food crops. Attendees will also learn how plant breeders can increase micronutrient density of these food crops without sacrificing yield. Additionally, practitioners will share their experience in disseminating and promoting these crops to farmers and consumers in Uganda to improve nutrition and public health. HarvestPlus will also have a booth and a team of experts on hand to answer questions.

EVENT: Micronutrient Forum Global Conference 2014

DATE: June 2-6, 2014

LOCATION: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

HarvestPlus-sponsored symposium on June 2: “From evidence to action – scaling up biofortified crops for nutritional impact.” (14:00 – 15:30, Room CR 3)