Biofortification


Biofortification is the process of increasing the nutritional value of food crops through conventional plant breeding techniques, using enriched fertilizers or irrigating soil and crops with the nutrients they lack.

Maize, pulses, rice or wheat can provide a lot of calories but still lack sufficient concentrations of Vitamin A, for example, and micronutrient minerals such as iodine, iron, selenium and zinc. This can result in ‘hidden hunger,’ harming children’s brain development and physical development, and keeping immune systems low in adults. Mineral fertilizers that are fortified with micronutrients can help – as part of strategies that include farmers, agronomists, public health specialists, governments and the private sector.

Ismail Cakmak

Ismail Cakmak

Martin Broadley

Martin Broadley

IFA Podcast: Biofortification

Some 3 billion people in the world experience 'hidden hunger.' They might have enough rice, wheat and pulses to eat, for example, but the food lacks the vitamins and micronutrient minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium and iodine needed for normal brain development and strong immune systems. How can we use fertilizers to improve the micronutrient content of food crops? Ismail Cakmak, Professor of Plant Nutrition, Sabanci University, Turkey, and Martin Broadley, Professor and Science Director, Rothamsted Research, UK, sat down with IFA Chief Scientist Achim Dobermann to discuss how fertilizers can improve the micronutrient content of food crops - biofortification - and help tackle hidden hunger.

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FAO-IFA Sustainable Plant Nutrition Webinar Series: Agronomic biofortification

April 26 2022

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FAO and the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) held on 21 April 2021 the fourth webinar of their Sustainable Plant Nutrition Series: “Agronomic biofortification to overcome hidden hunger”, with an expert discussion on the solutions and strategies helping to stop the widespread nutrient deficiencies in humans (hidden hunger) through agronomic biofortification.
Crop production and nutritional food quality are stunted by soil micronutrient deficiencies, which have a negative impact on human nutrition and health. Expanding the content and/or bioavailability of necessary nutrients in crops during plant growth through genetic and agronomic biofortification are effective routes for delivering more nutrients to humans, particularly minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium or iodine.
This webinar explored the full potential of agronomic biofortification for global food and nutrition security and look at what can be done to advance its practice in regions that need it the most.

FAO-IFA Sustainable Plant Nutrition Webinar Series: Agronomic biofortification

Agronomic Biofortification Programs and Their Potential to Overcome Global Iodine Deficiencies

Dr. Katja Hora, Specialty Plant Nutrition Research Manager at SQM, talks about why iodine is so important for the human diet, the role of food that has been biofortified with fertilizers and how Italy is leading the way in commercialization of the concept.

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COVID-19 and Beyond Responsible Plant Nutrition for Food Security and Human Health

COVID-19 and Beyond Responsible Plant Nutrition for Food Security and Human Health

A look at the role of responsible plant nutrition for improving food security and human health through agricultural transformation.

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Adressing Micronutrient Deficiencies Through Agronomic Biofortification

Adressing Micronutrient Deficiencies Through Agronomic Biofortification

Howarth Bouis
Founding Director, HarvestPlus
November 18, 2019

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A Success Zinc Story in Turkey and HarvestZinc Project

A Success Zinc Story in Turkey and HarvestZinc Project

Ismail Cakmak
Sabanci University-Istanbul
Effect of Zinc Fertilization on Wheat Production in Central Anatolia

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NATO-Zinc Fertilizer Project and HarvestPlus-HarvestZinc Project

NATO-Zinc Fertilizer Project and HarvestPlus-HarvestZinc Project

Ismail Cakmak
Sabanci University-Istanbul
Effect of Zinc Fertilization on Wheat Production in Central Anatolia

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The Success Story of Agronomic Biofortification with Selenium in Finland - Role of Government and Industry

The Success Story of Agronomic Biofortification with Selenium in Finland - Role of Government and Industry

Patrick Heffer
IFA
Agronomic biofortification is an effective option for increasing Se intake of populations with low Se levels.

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