World Food Prize to honor efforts in bio-fortification, including orange-flesh sweet potato

yaajeende eatorange 500 42638yaajeende eatorange 500 42638[NCBA CLUSA's public awareness campaign “Mangez Orange” (Eat Orange) in Senegal promotes a diet rich in Vitamin A, including biofortified orange-flesh sweet potatoes.]NCBA CLUSA congratulates this year’s World Food Prize laureates for their significant contributions to nutrition through bio-fortified foods. Four laureates will receive the World Food Prize, known as the “Nobel Prize for Agriculture," which is awarded in the fall.

This year's prize highlights the contributions of a three person team from the International Potato Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIP), Dr. Maria Andrade of Cape Verde, Dr. Robert Mwanga of Uganda and Dr. Jan Low of the United States for their achievement in developing one of the most successful examples of micronutrient and vitamin bioforticiation—the orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP). The fourth laureate, Dr. Howarth Bouis, the founder of HarvestPlus at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), pioneered the implementation of a multi-institutional approach to biofortification as a global plant breeding strategy.

NCBA CLUSA is particularly appreciative of this year’s laureates’ contributions to agriculture as we are a leader in nutrition-led agriculture, pioneering growing bio-fortified orange-fleshed sweet potato in Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso and other project countries for the last six years. Thanks to innovations in agriculture and bio-fortification from these laureates, their institutes, as well as countless other scientists around the world, bio-fortified crops are helping to address huge nutrition gaps in communities across the world.

Dr. Andrade and Dr. Mwanga, plant scientists in Mozambique and Uganda, bred the Vitamin A enriched OFSP, while Dr. Low structured nutrition studies and programs that convinced almost 2 million households in 10 African countries to plant, purchase and consume this nutritionally fortified food.

As a result of Dr. Bouis leadership, crops such as iron and zinc fortified beans, rice, wheat and pearl millet, and Vitamin A-enriched cassava, maize and OFSP are being tested or released in more than 40 countries.

In practical terms for the use of bio-fortified crops, through NCBA CLUSA's 
USAID | Yaajeende project in Senegal, project areas have seen a 36 percent decrease in stunting, and households receiving a “high” dietary score jumped to 73 percent, while children under two achieving a minimal acceptable diet has tripled to 40 percent. Access to bio-fortified crops, including OFSP, has certainly contributed to these numbers as well as the social campaigns like “Mangez Orange” (Eat Orange) to promote a market demand for these crops.

Join NCBA CLUSA in congratulating this year's World Food Prize winners, and learn more about NCBA CLUSA’s use of bio-fortified foods to address nutrition and food security.


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