Over the past 15 years, conventional breeding efforts have resulted in varieties of several staple food crops with significant levels of the three micronutrients whose deficiency can be most limiting to humans: zinc, iron, and vitamin A. Evidence from nutrition research has revealed that these varieties provide considerable amounts of bioavailable micronutrients, and consumption of them can mitigate micronutrient deficiency and hence improve health status among target populations. Termed “biofortification,” the development and delivery of these micronutrient-rich varieties could reduce hidden hunger, especially among rural populations whose diets rely on staple food crops.
Birol, Ekin; Saltzman, Amy; Ball, Anna-Marie; Boy, Erick; Mudyahoto, Bho; Simpungwe, Eliab; Ubomba-Jaswa, Acanda; and Zeller, Manfred. 2016. The role of biofortification as part of more diverse diets in Africa: Progress, challenges, and opportunities. In Achieving a nutrition revolution for Africa: The road to healthier diets and optimal nutrition. Covic, Namukolo and Hendriks, Sheryl L. (Eds.). Chapter 7. Pp. 82-97. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). http://dx.doi.org/10.2499/9780896295933_07