Four CGIAR scientists, Dr. Howarth Bouis (HarvestPlus), Dr. Jan Low (CIP), Maria Andrade (CIP), and Robert Mwanga (CIP) were awarded the World Food Prize on 13 October 2016 among an international audience at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, for their combined success in improving nutrition and health through biofortified crops. The HarvestPlus program works together with ten CGIAR centers to develop climate smart, high yielding biofortified varieties.
Three of the 2016 laureates — Drs. Maria Andrade, Jan Low and Robert Mwanga of the International Potato Center (CIP), which has had sweet potatoes in its research mandate since 1988 — are being honored for their work developing the single most successful example of biofortification — the orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP). Dr. Andrade and Dr. Mwanga, plant scientists in Mozambique and Uganda, bred the Vitamin A-enriched OFSP using genetic material from CIP and other sources, while Dr. Low structured the nutrition studies and programs that convinced almost two million households in 10 separate African countries to plant, purchase and consume this nutritionally fortified food.
Bouis, the founder of HarvestPlus at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), over a 25-year period pioneered the implementation of a multi-institutional approach to biofortification as a global plant breeding strategy. As a result of his leadership, crops such as iron and zinc fortified beans, rice, wheat and pearl millet, along with Vitamin A-enriched cassava, maize and OFSP are being tested or released in over 40 countries.
WATCH THE FULL EVENT
CHECK OUT A SELECTION OF THE 2016 WORLD FOOD PRIZE COVERAGE
As anticipated, the award has generated valuable press coverage on the important work that these four laureates and their teams are doing. We have compiled a collection of the news coverage for you here. Click on the link to be redirected to the stories.
- BBC: Can a new sweet potato help tackle child malnutrition?
- BBC: The superfood that can help cure blindness in Uganda
- BBC: Sweet potato Vitamin A research wins World Food Prize
- Upworthy: A marketing campaign to get people in Africa to eat sweet potatoes? It’s working
- Agri-Pulse: Biofortified food: One step closer to a world free of hunger and malnutrition
- Food Mic: This award-winning sweet potato could be the answer to the world’s hunger crisis
To keep up with more coverage, go to the International Potato Center’s press room.
You can also view and download photographs from the event at the World Food Prize Flickr account.