HarvestPlus seeks to reduce hidden hunger and provide micronutrients to billions of people directly through the staple foods that they eat. We use a novel process called biofortification to breed higher levels of micronutrients directly into key staple foods.
HarvestPlus focuses on three critical micronutrients that recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as most limiting in diets: iron, zinc, and vitamin A. Efforts are underway to biofortify seven of the most important staple food crops in the developing world: bean, cassava, maize, pearl millet, rice, sweet potato and wheat.
History & Status
In late 2002, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Micronutrients Project was selected to be one of three pioneer CGIAR Challenge Programs. In 2004, the HarvestPlus Challenge Program was officially launched when it became the first recipient of funding for biofortification research granted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It has also received funding from many other generous donors. HarvestPlus has since emerged as a global leader in developing biofortified crops and now works with more than 200 agricultural and nutrition scientists around the world. It is co-convened by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).