Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient challenge in the world. Poor diets lacking in iron limit brain development and learning capacity, hampering the potential of individuals and societies, generation after generation.

The condition has damaging consequences, including impaired mental development and learning capacity, increased weakness and fatigue, and when it progresses to anemia, adverse pregnancy outcomes. In low- and middle-income countries, roughly one in four women of reproductive age and two in five young children are anemic due to iron deficiency.

That’s why HarvestPlus and its partners are developing and promoting biofortified crops rich in vitamins and minerals (like iron) needed for good health. This practical, food-based solution targets resource-poor families or rural communities who rely on staple crops for much of their diet. Young children or non-pregnant, non-lactating women can get up to 80 percent of their daily average iron requirement by eating foods made with iron beans or iron pearl millet as a significant portion of their diet.

Iron biofortification is helping rural families reach their cognitive and physical potential—one meal at a time.

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Read about research, watch anecdotal stories of families who’ve benefited, and learn more about the encouraging progress being made to sustain and encourage iron biofortification.


Iron quiz

See how much you know about iron deficiency and biofortification.


Learn how we’re addressing iron deficiency with iron biofortification.