Commitments to action

A scaling support network for nutrient-enriched staple crops

EcorNaturaSì Spa, NaturaSì

HarvestPlus, part of the CGIAR partnership, is the global leader in enabling the rapid scale-up of nutrient-enriched staple crops that provide essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) effectively and affordably when consumed on a regular basis. They are an intervention to address widespread micronutrient deficiency (hidden hunger) and are particularly tailored to the conditions and needs of the hundreds of millions of smallholder farming families in low- and middle-income countries, who primarily eat what they grow and cannot afford nutritionally diverse diets on a regular basis.

Several countries have included the development and promotion of nutrient-enriched (or biofortified) staple crops in their UNFSS national pathways for food systems transformation, recognizing their value in making the foundation of their food systems—staples—as nutritious as possible. Countries also recognize that these crops not only improve nutrition and health in their own right; they also are sustainable by providing attractive livelihood opportunities for farming families who sell some of what they grow, as well as for SME businesses in seed and food value chains that are processing and selling biofortified food products.

To enable and strengthen country-level efforts to rapidly scale up nutrient-enriched crops, HarvestPlus will establish and facilitate a technical, strategic, and policy support network for national (as well as regional) partners. This network will bring to bear nearly two decades of HarvestPlus experience in originating, piloting, delivering, and expanding the reach of these nutritious crops across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, always hand in hand with the public, and private, and NGO partners.

The focus of the network’s activity will be knowledge transfer, capacity strengthening, fostering effective partnerships, developing learning agendas, and identifying funding and entrepreneurial- opportunities for the broad range of actors (planting material producers, distributors, farmers, off-takers, aggregators, processors, food product producers, policy and regulatory decisionmakers, donors, etc.). The network will also act as a repository of knowledge and experience by the broader community, accessible through a continually updated portal managed by HarvestPlus, which will also continue to advance the evidence base for biofortified crops to help crowd-in more partners.

The network approach will be highly strategic to ensure multiple actors are working from a shared, evidence-driven knowledge base, and encouraged and incentivized to closely coordinate activities to generate synergies and optimize impact. This approach is integrated into the HarvestPlus scaling models that have been tested and applied in a dozen countries with varying economic, social, and market conditions.

Constituency

Other

Action Area(s)

Nourish All People

Location

Global

Key contact

Peter Goldstein, HarvestPlus, p.goldstein@cgiar.org 

Keywords

hidden hunger, biofortification, nutrient-enriched crops

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