Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Advocacy for scaling up biofortified crops

Advocacy for scaling up biofortified crops for improved micronutrient status in Africa: approaches, achievements, challenges and lessons
Rose Omari ; Francis ZotorJulia Tagwireyi and Laila Lokosang
DOI: ttps://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665119000521
Part of: ANEC VIII 2018
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 March 2019

Biofortification is an approach used to increase micronutrient content of crops through agronomic practices, conventional or modern biotechnology. Through a plethora of projects, partnerships were formed to advocate for policy changes, and increased investments in research, production and utilisation of biofortified crops

One of such projects is the Building Nutritious Food Baskets project, which has been appraised in order to draw and share successes, challenges and lessons for the improvement of similar future projects to achieve substantial impacts. 

The paper provides an overview of the role of biofortification in addressing nutritional challenges and highlights the efficacy of biofortified crops in improving micronutrient status. Through advocacy at the African Regional and sub-regional levels, awareness has been created on biofortification among governments, investors, development partners, farmers and consumers. This awareness has resulted in the incorporation of biofortification in some key policies, strategies and investment programmes. 

Key lessons learnt from regional advocacy are 
  1. in order to integrate biofortification in regional policies, strategies and programmes, it is important to identify champions from key and strategic regional organisations as they provide information on potential opportunities for influencing policies, 
  2. having a common advocacy message helps to highlight the role of biofortification in contributing to the prevention of micronutrient problems as well as evidence of impact on nutrition outcome, 
  3. champions need to be allocated a budget to support their advocacy work and 
  4. to engender adoption of biofortification, it is important to align bio fortification with relevant initiatives as well as ongoing opportunities for advocacy.

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