Coordination of biofortification research and development activities in grain crops to enhance nutritional security in India
Duration: 01/Jan/2013 - 31/Dec/2013
Project contact: K N Rai
Donor: HarvestPlus Challenge Program/IFPRI-USA
CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Cereals
The HarvestPlus Challenge Program has a global objective of addressing the problem of micronutrient malnutrition in developing countries through the development of crop cultivars with high micronutrient levels. In case of India, it has prioritized its research to develop high-zinc varieties of wheat and rice, and high-iron varieties and hybrids of pearl millet. The HarvestPlus program has made significant progress in screening and breeding high-zinc rice and wheat, and high-iron pearl millet. This project is primarily designed to coordinate the biofortified research activities carried out by HarvestPlus, ICAR and DBT to enhance overall effectiveness of biofortified cultivar development and delivery in rice, wheat and pearl millet. Another major activity in this project would be more vigorous advocacy through participation via presentations, discussions, and media publicity on the role of biofortification in improving health and nutritional security. It is expected that these coordination activities will lead to enhanced research capacity, integration of biofortification in mainstream breeding, and enhanced awareness and greater appreciation of the biofortification approach in addressing these two major micronutrient deficiency problems in India.