At two landmark summits this year, food and nutrition security stakeholders came together to intensify their global battle against hunger and malnutrition. The backdrop was data that shows us heading in the wrong direction—increasing rather than decreasing numbers of hungry and malnourished—particularly in low- and middle-income countries vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, conflict, and other challenges.
We saw significant new commitments from governments, donors, and businesses that aim to fundamentally transform food systems for the better. There was also broad agreement on the great urgency of making nutritious food options more resilient, affordable, and accessible for everyone.
Nutrient-enriched staple crops will play an important role in achieving this, as part of strategies to ensure that all available foods are as nutritious as possible. In 2022, the top priority of HarvestPlus will be to work with our many partners to translate commitments for scaling up biofortification into concrete action.
At the national level, we will be supporting governments and their partners to sustainably embed biofortified crops in food systems—with the primary objective of improving the health and livelihoods of smallholder farming households and other low-income consumers. Our year-end digital feature includes examples from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia, where HarvestPlus staff are currently providing technical and strategic assistance to scaling initiatives.
The digital feature also highlights how we are prioritizing engagement and empowerment of rural women—as family members, farmers, and food-sector entrepreneurs; reaching more children (such as through school feeding programs) and leveraging more partnerships across sectors to amplify the reach and impact of biofortification.
We greatly appreciate the contributions and support of our partners and funders in this effort. We look forward to continued collaboration in 2022 and beyond, to improve the lives of current and future generations through better nutrition.