The global meeting place for people interested in all things related to SWEETPOTATO

Share your research and experience, ask and answer questions, meet your peers.


Building Nutritious Food Basket: A Situational Analysis of Regional Investments, Policies, Legislation and Advocacy Efforts on Food-based Approaches to Combating Micronutrient Deficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa: Focus on Biofortification

This situation analysis report provides a snapshot of the regional and subregional policies and frameworks that support biofortification and the organizations implementing various nutritionsensitive initiatives. The report identifies some ongoing initiatives that are relevant to the BNFB mandate and that can be aligned to its activities to facilitate its starting up and scaling up. The report recommends the key actions necessary to facilitate increased investment in and scaling up of biofortified crops in sub-Saharan Africa. It also provides guidance on the broad strategic areas that could form the focus in the development of a regional advocacy strategy for the BNFB Project, and serve as the basis of a plan of work for biofortification advocacy champions for stimulating sustainable investments in the production and consumption of biofortified crops.

Building Nutritious Food Basket: Regional Advocacy Strategy, 2017 and beyond

BNFB’s regional advocacy strategy aims to use available evidence to influence Africa-wide, regional and subregional decision-makers, planners and donors to adopt and invest in biofortified crops as part of a comprehensive package of strategies to address the main micronutrient deficiencies in the continent. A regional advocacy strategy needs to capitalize on the strengths existing at the regional and subregional levels. The strategy needs to adopt a holistic approach in its efforts to promote investments in biofortification and, in particular, in vitamin A cassava, maize and OFSP, and high iron beans. It should closely align itself with the ongoing initiatives for improving food and nutrition security in Africa and the prevailing policy environment as enunciated by key regional bodies such as the African Union (AU) and its implementing agency, the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Furthermore, weaknesses should be identified and considered, and approaches devised to minimize them. The threats to the scaling up of biofortification should also be factored into the regional advocacy strategy. The strategy focuses on three broad objectives:  Influence regional and subregional organizations to incorporate biofortification into policies and strategies to address micronutrient deficiencies;  Promote investments in biofortified crops to address micronutrient (especially vitamin A and iron) deficiencies in SSA through regional and subregional organizations, donors, NGOs and the private sector;  Create demand for comprehensive solutions to the micronutrient problem.

Building Nutritious Food Baskets: Communication Plan

This Building Nutrtious Food Baskets communication plan for 2016–2018 provides a road map on how the project will integrate and monitor behavior change communication and promotion, awareness creation and advocacy activities for the biofortified crops during its implementation. The plan outlines the details on the various BNFB communication products, target audiences, responsibility allocation, and time frames, which will provide the basis for monitoring the plan. It also deals with the approaches considered appropriate for communication and awareness creation that will underpin the effective implementation of BNFB and the achievement of the expected outcomes, which are intended to have impact at national, regional and global levels.

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.

An integrated advocacy and capacity strengthening approach

BNFB helped incentivize and build the capacity of national and community supportive agencies including training institutions, non-governmental organizations, seed companies and agro-processing companies as well as individuals. In total, 577 (263 female) change agents (283 Nigerians and 294 Tanzanians) have been equipped with the capacity to design and implement gender sensitive projects on orange-fleshed sweetpotato, pro-vitamin maize, and high-iron beans. BNFB is led by the International Potato Center (CIP), and is implemented through a consortium of partners with diverse expertise: the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – high iron beans; the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) – pro-vitamin A (orange) maize; CIP – orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), advocacy and capacity development; the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) – vitamin A (yellow) cassava, pro-vitamin A (orange) maize; HarvestPlus – scaling up biofortification at country level; Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) – responsible for policy engagement and advocacy at regional level; the Governments of Nigeria and Tanzania, and a range of national implementing partners from public, private and civil society organizations. The project leverages other projects and on-going initiatives on biofortified crops. BNFB advocates for increased investment in biofortified staples as a sustainable way to combat hidden hunger, especially among young children under the age of five years and women of reproductive age. BNFB also focuses on strengthening the enabling environment for increased investments in biofortified crops and developing institutional and individual capacities to produce and consume biofortified crops. The portfolio for BNFB includes: yellow cassava, high iron beans, orange maize and OFSP , BNFB will continue: • Implementing national and regional advocacy strategies for increased policy engagement on the development and implementation of policies, strategies, and plans that prioritize support to biofortification to accelerate scaling to hit the population and beyond; • Strengthening national policy platforms and promoting evidence-based support for biofortification; • Strengthening capacities of national and community stakeholder agencies to develop and implement technically strong, cost-effective and gender sensitive investments along the value chains of OFSP, PVA maize, vitamin A cassava and high iron beans that drive uptake of biofortified crops; • Facilitating crop specific and seed systems platforms to spearhead production and marketing of biofortified crops at community level and help bring together all stakeholders along their value chains; and • Publishing findings, documenting processes and lessons learned to contribute to global understanding of scaling up approaches.

BNFB FLYER: A Holistic Approach to Addressing Hidden Hunger for Nutrition Security in Africa

Almost a quarter of the people in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from micronutrient malnutrition or ‘hidden hunger.’ This problem disproportionately affects women of reproductive age, infants, and young children, many of whom suffer deficiencies of essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron and zinc. Micronutrient malnutrition results in several health problems including weak immune system, visual impairment, night blindness in pregnant women and children, cognitive ability, retarded growth and reproductive potential, increased risk of disease and ultimately affects the general productivity of populations. Ways of Combating hidden hunger include biofortification, supplementation,fortification and dietary diversity.

BNFB Flyer- Ukweli kuhusu Urutubishaji kibiolojia.

Urutubishaji kibiolojia ni mchakato wa kuboresha lishe kwa kuongeza kiwango cha wingi wa vitamini na madini katika mazao ya chakula kwa kutumia njia za kawaida za uzalishaji vipando au mbegu zilizoboreshwa kupitia utafiti; utunzaji mazao shambani au matumizi ya bioteknolojia. Urutubishaji kibailojia wa mazao ya chakula ni miongoni mwa afua ambazo huchukuliwa kama ni njia mojawapo yenye gharama nafuu inayoweza kutumika na nchi mbalimbali katika kukabiliana na utapiamlo wa virutubishi vya vitamini na madini. Urutubishaji kibiolojia unawafikia walaji wa maeneo ya vijijini ambao wana uwezekano mdogo wa kupata vyakula vilivyoongezwa virutubishi kutoka katika viwanda vikubwa vya vyakula, pia kundi hilo la jamii wana uwezekano mdogo wa kupata vitamini na madini za nyongeza na kuwa na uwezo wa ulaji wa vyakula mchanganyiko. Njia ya kutumia makundi ya vyakula mchanganyiko vyenye lishe kwa wingi husaidia katika upatikanaji wa vyakula mbalimbali na huwezesha upatikanaji wa mazao yaliyorutubishwa kibiolojia katika kudhibiti matatizo ya lishe katika jamii iliyokuwa kwenye hatari ya kukosa lishe ya kutosha. Ripoti ya Dunia ya Hali ya Lishe ya mwaka 2014 (The Global Nutrition Report of 201413) inaonyesha ukubwa wa tatizo la upungufu wa vitamini A na madini chuma katika nchi za Nigeria na Tanzania.

BNFB Brief- Vipando Vinne Vya Viazi Lishe Marando ya Dhahabu.

Bw. Julius Kayongola ambaye ni mkulima wa kijiji cha Ilindi alisimulia safari aliyopita hadi kuwa mzalishaji wa kuaminika wa viazi lishe na marando yake. Mwezi Desemba, 2015 mkulima huyu, alikuwa mmoja wa wanufaika wa mafunzo ya uzalishaji wa mbegu na marando ya viazi lishe yaliyoandaliwa na Kituo cha Utafiti wa Sukari cha Kibaha, Tanzania (SRI – Kibaha) kwa ufadhili wa Shirika la Umoja wa Mataifa la Chakula na Kilimo (FAO). Alielezea kuwa baada ya kupata mafunzo, alipewa vipando vinne vya viazi lishe kwa ajili ya kuongeza marando zaidi ambayo mpaka sasa ameshazalisha katika shamba lenye ukubwa wa nusu (1/2) eka kwa kutumia umwagiliaji. BNFB unalenga kuangalia uwezekano wa kupanua mfumo wa utekelezaji kupitia utaratibu wa vyakula mchanganyiko katika kukabiliana na njaa iliyojificha ya upungufu wa virutubishi vya vitamini na madini kwa kuhimiza uwezekaji endelevu katika kuongeza uzalishaji na matumizi ya mazao yaliyorutubishwa kibaiolojia kama vile viazi lishe, mihogo lishe (mihongo manjano), mahindi lishe (mahindi ya chungwa), na maharage lishe (yenye wingi wa madini chuma au zinki).