Denis Okello - Communications Specialist with HarvestPlus Washington D.C., USA

22.03.2016

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Interventions to fight hidden hunger particularly eclipse poor people living in remote rural areas – and hence many who are involved in agriculture. Biofortified crops can help bridge this gap, our author maintains.

In a perfect world, we would all enjoy a diverse diet, one that provides all the nutrients our bodies need to be healthy and to function properly. We would have regular access to fruits, vegetables, and meat – a balanced diet that includes macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). But our world, of course, is nowhere near perfect. Nutritional deficiencies are widespread. Micronutrient deficiencies, or hidden hunger, affect one-third of the world’s population – some two billion people.

Hidden hunger’s most vulnerable victims are the poor in developing countries, whose daily diets usually consist of a few staple food crops such as rice, maize, and cassava. These crops provide lots of energy to their consumers, but practically nothing else of nutritional worth. The deficiency in critical vitamins and minerals means populations reliant on such diets face increased susceptibility to infections and disease, and impaired mental and physical development among children.

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