More than two billion people, primarily in low- and middle-income countries, do not get enough essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) in their daily diets. This “hidden hunger” increases their vulnerability to serious health problems including stunting, blindness, poor brain development, weakened immunity, and even death.

HarvestPlus, a global leader in biofortification, is spearheading this initiative to increase the nutrient value of staple foods crucial for ensuring the well-being of communities. The project will focus on rural areas and regions affected by poverty in Bangladesh and Uganda, where high rates of micronutrient deficiencies have been identified.

To increase access to biofortified varieties of crops grown and consumed regularly in Bangladesh and Uganda, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and HarvestPlus have partnered to bring these varieties closer to the rural areas most affected by poverty in Bangladesh and Uganda. Specific biofortified varieties of crops grown and consumed regularly in the countries were selected to target prevalent micronutrient deficiencies.

Project Location

HarvestPlus and its partners will focus on Bangladesh and Uganda, scaling access, production, and consumption of (non-GMO) bioforti4ed crops high in vitamin A, iron, and zinc.

In Bangladesh, the project will concentrate on the distribution of zinc rice, while in Uganda, it will focus on vitamin A maize, vitamin A sweet potato, and iron beans. HarvestPlus will collaborate with local seed cooperatives and larger seed corporations to ensure the widespread adoption of biofortified seed varieties. By enabling farmers to grow and sell biofortified crops, the project not only addresses immediate nutritional needs but also strengthens beneficiaries’ capacity to care for their own long-term requirements. Through increased income and improved livelihoods, especially for women and youth, the project seeks to create sustainable pathways out of hidden hunger.

Furthermore, the project will provide comprehensive training on best agricultural practices to empower smallholder farmers to improve climate resilience, increase yields, and boost profits. Leveraging existing partnerships with the ministries of agriculture in both countries, HarvestPlus aims to reach 38,000 farmers in Bangladesh and 20,000 farmers in Uganda over a 12-month period.

The primary aim of the project is to enhance nutrition security and improve livelihood opportunities for vulnerable populations. Through increased access to nutritionally enriched and climate-smart (biofortified) planting material, augmented production of biofortified crops, and the establishment of an enabling environment for biofortified foods, HarvestPlus aims to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by hidden hunger.

Project Duration: 12 months, with the option to scale up in the following years.

For more information, contact [email protected]