Improving nutrition and empowering women go hand in hand

Partnership HarvestPlus

HarvestPlus and our Foundation (SFSA) are partnering to increase the availability of biofortified seeds while developing the capacity of women as change-agents across the value chain. The collaboration will bring nutrition and livelihood benefits to smallholder farming households in several countries across Africa and Asia.

Together we will develop sustainable value chains for nutrient-enriched biofortified crops to increase their availability and consumption among populations at risk of micronutrient deficiencies. The partnership focuses on the thematic areas of health and nutrition, digitalization, climate, gender inclusiveness, and agri-entrepreneurship.

“We are delighted to join forces with the Syngenta Foundation to uplift vulnerable communities,” said Arun Baral, CEO of HarvestPlus. “This partnership will help scale up biofortification programs, bringing better nutrition to the plates of families while empowering women as leaders within their communities.”

The Memorandum of Understanding between HarvestPlus and SFSA began this month. Both organizations will work to ensure the commercial viability of biofortification, bringing profits to farmers and empowering women as farmers, consumers, and entrepreneurs.

“We are delighted to work with HarvestPlus to broaden the reach of biofortified seeds to small-scale producers”, commented Simon Winter, our Executive Director. “We commit to strengthening markets for such crops by supporting social enterprises and agri-entrepreneurs in the local food systems.”

Smallholder farmers globally meet their household food needs and generate income from the crops they grow. Biofortified crops can open doors for smallholders to boost their livelihoods, including through lucrative international markets. Facilitating the sale of nutrient-enriched crops to broader markets generates income for farmers and enables non-farming families to access foods that can improve their diets.

This collaboration builds on our previous successful partnerships with HarvestPlus. For example, the organizations have jointly catalyzed markets for nutrient-enriched seeds and food products in India. In several Indian states, agri-entrepreneurs now lead initiatives on iron pearl millet and zinc wheat and help farmers gain access to advice, high-quality farm inputs, credit, and markets.


About HarvestPlus
HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR and is based at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a CGIAR research center. HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals and providing global leadership on biofortification evidence and technology. Biofortified crops are proven to improve nutrition and health when eaten regularly, particularly among women and young children who are most vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies. HarvestPlus takes a value chain approach to scaling up biofortification that generates livelihood opportunities for farming households, as well as small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs in seed, crop, and food markets.