HarvestPlus: Progress To Date and Future Challenges


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Howarth Bouis presented at ACIAR 8 June 2012

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  • First, what is hidden hunger? All at risk of disease and death. Stunted growth, reduced IQ, blindness, illness, and deathThose who survive to adulthood, increased risk of death during child birth, reduced ability to work, lower productivity GDP
  • Poor people eat least amount of nutrient-rich foods but spend the most on it,.
  • When food prices go up, staple food consumption is protected at expense of more nutritious foods
  • Biofort is…Focus on 3 micronutrients that are most limiting vitamin A, zinc, and ironHarvestPlus is breeding food crops with higher micronutrient content that will have a measurable impact on nutritional status at the public health level.
  • A one-time research investment to develop biofortified crops, low What struck CC was how cost-effective biofort can be..especially…
  • In 2008, CC came up with top 30 best solutions to GLOBAL challenges, NOT just problems in developing countries! (Fro example, climate change, terrorism were all considered).Biofort was #5…well what is biofort?
  • Let’s remember that most of the poor are in rural areas where they lack access to more nutritious foods. That is where our efforts are focused and other pieces of the puzzle do not work as well.
  • Biofortification complements other strategies to reduce micronutrient malnutrition
  • We have successfully released one crop-orange sweet potato with our partners with very promising results. Children under 5 reported consuming OSP twice a week when available. They tend to eat OSP boiled, and the amount of beta carotene consumed between OSP and other sources then exceeds the US recommended daily allowance for vitamin A when averaged over the week.  We found women consuming more OSP (and vitamin A), and by and large households were consuming OSP they produced themselves.  So there seems to have been enough to go around at their production levels in 2009.  We are planning to do another survey next year to find out how much OSP has been retained by households that participated, to see in part if the vitamin A in the diet is still adequate three years after the project took place. More details on nutrition:  The vitamin A estimated average requirement (EAR) for children is 210-275µg RAE depending on age and 500µg RAE for women. The vitamin A content of OSP in Moz was 726µg/100g in the North.  If we ignore other sources of vitamin A in the diet and focus solely on OFSP (which we normally do not do), and if on average children consume 20-40g of OSP, their average vitamin A intake will be at the EAR level. For non-pregnant and non-lactating women, the equivalent amounts to be at the EAR level are 55-70g. These amounts represent half of a small OSP for children and one small OSP for women (or one half of a medium sized OSP).  Our study participants at 73-81g and 144-165 g of OFSP in children and women respectively at endline far exceeded those amounts.
  • on breeding nutritious varieties of staple food crops eaten by the word’s poor that have more vitamins and minerals…both in Africa
  • and in Asia..
  • Not a controlled trial!Decline in CVD due to several factors
  • Not a controlled trial!Decline in CVD due to several factors
  • Make Biofortification Sustainable1st and 2nd yellow orange> make core breeding activity at ag. research centers with independent funding3rd yellow/orange> Work with local and International NGOs for mass-scale delivery (tweaking bur essentially current modalities) work with public (eg WFP) and pvt sector food companies, ag pull etc to develop new modalities of delivery. Codex.To institutionalize need a) seal of approval from WHO, MI etc based on sound efficacy studies and effectiveness. To integrate need buy-in from platforms, eg SUN/CAADP, govt policymakers etc. for biofort. to be integrated into other complmentary approaches.
  • “Such intimately related subjects as agriculture, food, nutrition and health have become split up into innumerable rigid and self-contained little units, each in the hands of some group of specialists ….. The experts, as their studies become concentrated on smaller and smaller fragments, soon find themselves … learning more and more about less and less. Everywhere knowledge increases at the expense of understanding …" ……The remedy is to look at the whole field covered by crop production, animal husbandry, food, nutrition, and health as one related subject and then to realize the great principle that the birthright of every crop, every animal, and every human being is health.”The Soil and Health, 1945
  • An English botanist and father of the organic agriculture
  • HarvestPlus: Progress To Date and Future Challenges

    1. 1. HarvestPlus: Progress To Date and Future Challenges Howarth BouisHarvestPlus c/o IFPRI2033 K Street, NW • Washington, DC 20006-1002 USATel: 202-862-5600 • Fax: 202-467-4439HarvestPlus@cgiar.org • www.HarvestPlus.org
    2. 2. Hidden Hunger2 billion+ affected Photo: C. Hotz
    3. 3. % Changes in Cereal & Pulse Production & in Population Between 1965 & 1999 Cereals Pulses Population250200150100 50 0 Developing Developing Developing Bangladesh Bangladesh India India World Pakistan Pakistan
    4. 4. Share of Energy Source & Food Budget in Rural Bangladesh Fish and Meat Non-Staple plants Energy Source Food Budget Staple foods
    5. 5. 50% Increase in All Food Prices Share of Total Expenditures Before After StaplesAnimal Staples Non-Food Non-Food
    6. 6. Biofortification-breeding foodcrops that are more nutritious Photo: D. Marchand
    7. 7. Photo: ICRISATCost-effective: central one time investment
    8. 8. Copenhagen Consensus TOP FIVE SOLUTIONS CHALLENGE1 Micronutrient supplements for Malnutrition children (vitamin A and zinc)2 The Doha development agenda Trade3 Micronutrient fortification Malnutrition (iron and salt iodization)4 Expanded immunization Diseases coverage for children5 Biofortification Malnutrition
    9. 9. 75% of the poor 25%
    10. 10. Supplementation Commercial FortificationDietaryDiversity Biofortification
    11. 11. #1 Breeding must increase nutrient to levels that improve nutritionPhoto: Wolfgang Pfeiffer
    12. 12. Progress in Breeding I • Genetic variation sufficient for conventional breeding • No tradeoff between yield and mineral/vitamin content of seed • Low-cost, high throughput methods to quickly screen promising lines have beenPhoto: CIMMYT discovered -- XRF Photo: R.A. Stevens Photo: CIMMYT
    13. 13. Progress in Breeding II •Genes identified/ MAS implemented • Invested to strengthen NARS capacity • Biofortified lines have been submitted to Varietal Release CommitteesPhoto :IRRI
    14. 14. #2 Will extra nutrients be bioavailable atsufficient levels to improve micronutrientstatus?
    15. 15. Retinol Equivalency of provitamin A richfoods: human studies 12:1 assumed in defining Target Levels Cassava
    16. 16. Photos: Neil Palmer (CIAT)#3 Farmers must adopt crops and consumers must buy & eat these.
    17. 17. One Crop Released... 24,000 Households reached2007-092 Up to 68% of project HHs adopted OSP. Up to 47% increase in share of OSP in total sweet potato area.Orange SweetPotato (OSP) Up to a 100% increase in vitamin A intakes for infants, children andVitamin A women.MozambiqueUganda
    18. 18. Impact on vitamin A intakes
    19. 19. Crops for Africa & Release Dates 20112 2012 2012Cassava Beans MaizeVitamin A Iron (Zinc) Vitamin ANigeria Rwanda ZambiaDR Congo DR CongoCrops are high-yielding and with other traits farmers want.
    20. 20. Crops for Asia & Release Dates 20122 20132 20132Pearl Millet Rice WheatIron (Zinc) Zinc ZincIndia Bangladesh India India PakistanCrops are high-yielding and with other traits farmers want.
    21. 21. Agriculture Minister presents vitamin Agari and bread to Nigerians
    22. 22. Delivery: New roles for HarvestPlus staff
    23. 23. Harvest of Orange Maize for Nutrition Efficacy Trial
    24. 24. Past History• Visits to nine Centers in 1993• Inception meeting, 1994• CGIAR Micronutrients Project (1995- 2002) – DANIDA funding • IRRI conference 1999 • ADB project for rice (2000-2002)• Fast-tracked Challenge Program 2002
    25. 25. • Micronutrient Technical Assistance – Target: mostly plant breeders and nutritionists (+ their labs) • Developing protocols for harvesting crops and sample preparation for analysis – In-country workshops (training) • Identifying sources of contamination in labs and equipment – Troubleshooting problems • Identifying new ways to analyse for Fe, Zn and carotenoids – Rapid screening techniques to get the job done quickly and at minimal cost – XRF for Fe and Zn; ATR FT-IR for carotenoids • Providing nutrient analysis to a large host of HarvestPlus collaborators Biological Sciences Flinders University
    26. 26. • Capacity Building – Building up the capacity for labs to do their own analysis • Rolled out 12 XRF units around the world in the past 1.5 years • Providing on-going support (through visits, electronic correspondence, proficiency studies) • Setting up phytate analysis at ICDDR,B in Bangladesh• Molecular marker development in wheat • Association Mapping Panel • 330 genotypes; >90K SNP markers; grown in Mexico and India (target country) • Will use as a training panel for genomic selection • Also providing analytical and physiological support
    27. 27. Biofortified rice to prevent iron deficiency• Rice grain is usually milled to remove the oily outer layers that cause grain to go rancid – polished rice. Unfortunately, most iron and other key micronutrients are also removed. A problem for all of the major cereals.• By increasing uptake of iron from soil and the solubility of iron in plant tissues, we have generated GM rice lines that have 4-fold more iron in polished rice and meet our target concentration of 14 ppm iron. C The increased iron in polished rice (A) is positively correlated with nicotianamine content (B). Recent work at the Australian Synchrotron shows that the increased iron (C, in green) accumulates in the outer endosperm region of the grain.
    28. 28. Food Systems R&D Graham Lyons et al• Agronomic biofortification is feasible for Se (soil or foliar), Zn (foliar) & I (soil, for leafy vegs, pasture)• Biofortified Se in wheat is heat-resistant and highly bioavailable• Nutrition education, utilisation of local food crop diversity, village-level crop trials and introduction of improved genotypes improve micronutrient delivery in deficient populations• Current food system programs in Pacific, N Aust and Indonesia aimed at improving human health• African studies planned: SeZn+NPKS fertiliser in Malawi; nutritional supplement v HIV disease Slide 28
    29. 29. Popular Beauregard OSP introduced to Solomon Islands by ACIAR & HarvestPlus Slide 29
    30. 30. Solomon Islands women admiring ACIAR/HarvestPluslocal nutritious food posters at a clinic in Malaita Slide 30
    31. 31. Challenges for Phase 3 (2014-18)Scale up Delivery in Target Countries • 10-12 countries • Approx. $2 million per country-crop • New releases from breeding pipeline • Measure impact
    32. 32. Phase I Phase II Phase III 2018 >2004 - 2008 2009 - 2013 2014 - 2018 Discovery/Research Discovery/Research Crop Development Development Crop Delivery Establish new Institutionalize partnerships and & delivery modalities Integrate Mass-scale delivery Scientific proof of concept Advocacy+ fundraising
    33. 33. Challenges for Phase 3 (2014-18)Make Biofortification Sustainable • Core breeding activity at ag. research centers • Work with International NGOs • Approval from WHO, SUN etc • UN Agencies, e.g. World Food Program • Funding from Health donors • Spinoff institution – Fund, technical
    34. 34. Why have solutions to malnutrition been sought outside of agriculture?Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT)
    35. 35. In Conclusion … “Such intimately related subjects as agriculture, food, nutrition and health have become split up into innumerable rigid and self-contained little units, each in the hands of some group of specialists. The experts, …soon find themselves…learning more and more about less and less…The remedy is to look at the whole field covered by crop production, animal husbandry, food, nutrition, and health as one related subject and…to realize…that the birthright of every crop, every animal, and every human being is health.”"
    36. 36. Sir Albert Howard, 1873-1947 “The Soil and Health,” 1945