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U.S. IFPRI seeks to reduce micronutrient malnutrition among poor populations

24 october 2011, 10:53
0
At press-conference in IFPRI
At press-conference in IFPRI
U.S.International Food Policy Researching Institute (IFPRI) seeks to reduce micronutrient malnutrition among poor populations by breeding staple food crops with superior agronomic properties, Tengrinews.kz reports. IFPRI looks for sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. The institute is one of 15 centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, an alliance of 64 governments, private foundations, and international and regional organizations.

"A major theme in IFPRI's strategy is food- and nutrition-related science and technology policy, with a focus on how to make technological innovations relevant, safe, and accessible to poor people. The opportunities and risks that agricultural biotechnology including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) present for smallholder farming systems, poor consumers, biodiversity and trade are high on our research agenda together with biosafety policy issues, which encompass environmental and food safety considerations. IFPRI attempts to connect these fundamental biological and policy regimes to its commitment to improve livelihoods and reduce poverty in developing countries," Joachim von Braun, Director General, IFPRI noted.

At the press-conference experts from IFPRI told journalists about their focus on Africa and Southern Asia malnutrition problems. According to them people in Bangladesh are too poor to afford more nutritious food every day. This is the problem of millions of people around the world.

The institute uses natural products to fortify foods, continued the experts. Fortification can be used in remote areas where people can grow food themselves. It is stable for farmers as they can share seeds with neighbors again and again. The farmers need only one-time investment in breeding.

"We released the project of sweet potato in Uganda and Mozambique in 2007-2009. There was a 100% increase in vitamin intakes for women and children. This is the most successful release to-date," a representative of IFPRI said.

The institute has pushed sustainable programs in developing countries: Harvest China program, India buyer fortification program and Brazil buyer fortification program. IFPRI is planning to release several projects next year, in Southern Asian countries in 2013, and in Zambia hopefully in 2012.

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