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On Friday June 8 2012 HarvestPlus Director Dr. Howarth Bouis will present a seminar at ACIAR about food biofortification, and the role that Australian scientists have played in getting off the ground this new food-based approach to improving nutrition and broader food security.

“One in three people in the world suffer from hidden hunger caused by a lack of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) such as vitamin A, zinc and iron, in the diet,” said Dr Bouis. “Biofortication offers the opportunity to breed higher amounts of vitamins and minerals directly into food crops such as rice, wheat, maize, cassava, beans, pearl millet and sweet potato.”

HarvestPlus is an international program that leads a global effort to breed, test, and disseminate staple foods that not only are high yielding, but rich in micronutrients to reduce hidden hunger. In partnership with a range of public and private partners, HarvestPlus is actively releasing and delivering these crops to rural communities in target countries.

The strategy is targeted to rural areas in regions in Africa and Asia where hidden hunger is most pervasive. Target countries include Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan among others. An Australian initiative on biofortification conducted in collaboration with HarvestPlus include an ACIAR project in the Solomon Islands and PNG on orange-fleshed sweet potato high in Vitamin A.

HarvestPlus is co-ordinated by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and is part of CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health.

The HarvestPlus seminar is an initiative of the newly established Australian International Food Security Centre.

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