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BNFB Biofortification and Biofortified Crops Report for Tanzania

Biofortification is implemented in Tanzania although not across the country. It is adopted as an approach to complement the efforts to reduce micronutrient deficiencies. Biofortification is the process of breeding nutrients into food crops through conventional methods. It provides a sustainable, long-term strategy for delivering micronutrients to rural populations in developing countries (Saltzman et al., 2013). Evidence shows that biofortification offers the most effective, sustainable, least-cost delivery model to supply the micronutrients of nutritional importance, namely iron, zinc, vitamin A, lysine and tryptophan. For instance, consuming 125 g of most orangefleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) varieties can supply the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for children and non-lactating mothers (Waized et al., 2015). Some of the biofortified crops such as PVA maize and OFSP have been introduced in the country. Although biofortification is yet to be fully scaled up in any country (Thompson & Amoroso, 2011), Tanzania has made some initial progress. The country was among the five countries that implemented the RAC project from 2011 to 2014. That project focused on advocacy for increased investment in OFSP to combat vitamin A deficiency (VAD) among young children and women of reproductive age and also built the institutional capacity to design and implement gender-sensitive projects to ensure wide access and utilization of OFSP. Through the RAC project, 17 country advocates were trained to engage in creating awareness and undertaking advocacy for investment in OFSP, and about USD 4 million was raised for OFSP, 3.2% of which came from local government authorities.

Authors: Margret Benjamin, Rubyogo Jean Claude, James Gethi, kiddo mtunda

Contributors: Joyce Maru

Pages: 81

Publication Date: October 30, 2017