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Fighting Iron Deficiency-New Improved High-iron and Zinc Beans Released in Tanzania

The high-iron beans are a special type of conventionally bred biofortified beans that contain high levels of iron and zinc. Biofortification enhances the nutritional value of staple food crops by increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop through either conventional plant breeding, agronomic practices or biotechnology. Examples of these vitamins and minerals that can be increased through biofortification include iron, zinc and provitamin A Carotenoids. The research and release efforts were led by Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) in partnership with ARI Uyole, ARI Maruku and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The efforts were supported through the partners at the Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA), TheBuilding Nutritious Food Baskets (BNFB) project, Tropical Legume III projects, Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Global Canada Affairs. Together with farmers, these new varieties were tested in various agro-ecologies ranging from 1000 to 2000m above sea level in the regions of Arusha, Manyara, Kagera, Iringa and Mbeya. Studies were also conducted to ensure that these new crops have sufficient amounts of the nutrients needed to improve nutrition among the beneficiaries prior to the the national government official release.

Authors: Building Nutritious Food Baskets Project

Contributors: Maryann Mwangi, Joyce Maru

Pages: 3

Publication Date: March 06, 2018