Thanks to the work of HarvestPlus and our partners, healthier futures are sprouting. More than 33 million people are growing and eating biofortified foods. To date, more than 290 biofortified varieties of 12 staple food crops have already been released and hundreds more are being tested in more than 60 countries around the world. But the work has only just begun.
Our results reflect HarvestPlus’ relationship-building efforts with international, national and district-level counterparts in the public, private, and civil society sectors—and our rigorously collected evidence.
Our hope is that someday most of the staple foods grown and consumed in developing countries will be biofortified. To create a framework for success, we are actively working to include biofortification in the national nutrition strategies of many countries, as well as regional and global processes. To date:
- 21 governments have now incorporated biofortification into their national health and agricultural strategies and plans.
- The African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture endorsed biofortification in 2017, noting its “great potential to contribute significantly” to reducing stunting and other forms of undernutrition. The African Union’s Executive Council endorsed this recommendation in January 2018.
- An internationally accepted definition of biofortification is being developed within the WHO/FAO-administered Codex Alimentarius. This collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice “is about safe, good food for everyone—everywhere.”
- The World Health Organization and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization have convened a global independent network of health experts to review the evidence on biofortification. The outcome will be formal guidance to health and agriculture ministries around the world.