World Vision celebrates biofortification partner’s World Food Prize win

World Vision is celebrating the news that its partner in providing nutritious food crops to hungry and poorly nourished communities has won a prestigious global award.

HarvestPlus was founded by Dr Howarth Bouis at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and it was he who was this week named a World Food Prize Laureate for his part in the fight against malnutrition.

For the past 25 years Dr Bouis has pioneered the implementation of a multi-institutional approach to biofortification as a global plant breeding strategy. As a result of his leadership, crops such as iron and zinc fortified beans, rice, wheat and pearl millet, along with Vitamin A-enriched cassava, maize and orange-fleshed sweet potato have benefited hungry people in more than 40 countries.

Back in 2014, at the World Economic Forum, World Vision and HarvestPlus committed to work together to improve nutrition for hundreds of millions of people around the world who suffer from malnutrition.

The partnership has focused on improving access to nutritious staple food crops – for home consumption and to sell in local markets – for vulnerable farming communities. These nutritious food crops have been bred through the biofortification process, which uses conventional plant breeding methods. Not only are varieties higher yielding, they have more resistance to disease and pests, while several varieties are better adapted to drought. 

World Vision and HarvestPlus collaborated initially in several African countries including Mozambique and Rwanda. The work done in Uganda to help people grow, sell and eat nutritious crops was so impactful that it was featured in a new book The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children–and the World  by former Wall Street Journal reporter Roger Thurow.

“Over the past few years World Vision and HarvestPlus staff have seen first-hand how biofortification contributes not only to saving lives, but enabling people to live life in all its fullness,” said Carolyn MacDonald, World Vision’s Nutrition Director. “Lots of variety in foods and more nutritious crops mean enough energy to play and work; adequate vitamins and minerals for normal growth, learning and health; and sufficient production for selling at market.

“We are absolutely delighted that Dr Bouis and HarvestPlus have been recognised for this life-changing contribution to ending hunger and malnutrition. There’s no way our world can become hunger free without partnerships like ours and we are very much looking forward to the next phase in our relationship with HarvestPlus.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognising the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Learn more at http://www.worldfoodprize.org/
  • World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. For more information about World Vision and its work visit: www.wvi.org.
  • HarvestPlus leads a global effort to improve vitamin and mineral nutrition and public health by developing and deploying staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. We work with diverse partners in more than 40 countries. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organisations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers: the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).