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Biofortification, a New Way to Tackle Malnutrition

Scientists are working to add nutritional value to maize and other crops. (AP)
Biofortification is becoming the new way to tackle what some call micronutrient malnutrition. Various biofortification projects are underway in many parts of the developing world. They’re adding iron, zinc, and vitamin A in crops such as rice, beans, sweet potato, maize and cassava.

According to the World Health Organization, between 250,000 and 500,000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight.

Paul Ilona is the country director for Harvest Plus - a global program that improves nutrition and public health through biofortified foods. Ilona tells V-O-A’s Mariama Diallo that in addition to blindness, the consequences of not having enough micronutrients in a daily diet are devastating and can result in stunting and disease.

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    Mariama Diallo

    Mariama Diallo is a senior reporter covering national and world affairs for Voice of America in multiple languages. She was recently the VOA acting bureau chief for the agency's West Africa office.