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Biofortification targets rural families in developing countries relying on homegrown, inexpensive but not very nourishing staple foods like rice, wheat, or maize. The biofortification process allows rural families to grow and consume varieties of these crops that are rich in vitamin A, iron, or zinc—three of the micronutrients identified by the World Health Organization as most critical for health.
 
A new interactive tool developed by HarvestPlus helps identify where and for which staple crops biofortification can make the greatest impact on micronutrient deficiencies.
 
Biofortification tool, harvestplusThe website, based on the HarvestPlus Biofortification Priority Index (BPI), is a user-friendly tool designed to guide strategic decisions for investment, policy, and practice pertaining to the introduction and scaling of biofortified staples.
 
HarvestPlus developed the BPI in 2013 to ensure efforts to develop and deliver biofortified crops by HarvestPlus and its partners were as targeted, cost-effective, and impactful as possible. Using the most recent national-level data on eating and growing patterns as well as micronutrient deficiency rates, the BPI ranks 128 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean regions according to their potential for biofortification for eight different crop-micronutrient combinations. The result is a clear prioritization of where biofortified crop interventions are most suitable.
 
The interactive tools allows users to:

– Quickly identify the 20 countries most suited for biofortification of each crop.
– Take a closer look at the data behind the index with interactive maps for the subindices—production, consumption and micronutrient deficiency.
– Learn more about the progress being made to test and release biofortified crop varieties in each country.
– Compare how rankings change when a country’s land area or population size is considered.
– See the BPI for the newest biofortified crop: zinc maize

Click HERE to start exploring the tool!