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Students4Kids EN » Reducing Micronutrient deficiencies among malnourished Ugandans through biofortification

Reducing Micronutrient deficiencies among malnourished Ugandans through biofortification

Short description

Biofortification must be aimed at attaining healthier food crop varieties, increased harvests, food security, disease resistant crop varieties, and harsh climate-tolerant crop varieties. Requirements and resources needed mainly include funds, time, equipment, crop calendars and human resource, supportive policies and development programs.


The problem we aim to solve

I want to tackle the consequences of micro nutrient deficiencies which cause a vicious circle of health, social and economic damage. It can lead to equanimity, a state of mental calmness and undisturbed composure in difficult situations. Equanimity can be observed when malnourished children do not smile, do not show fear pain or interest. Socially, people who suffer hidden hunger are isolated especially those showing signs of suffering from micronutrient deficiencies and considered a disgrace to community and thus rejected.


Our solution

Bioforification is an improvement of ordinary fortification when it comes to providing micronutrients to the vulnerable groups in Uganda. It has two methods namely:

  • Conventional selective breeding. This is where breeders search seeds for existing crop varieties which are naturally high in nutrients. They then cross breed these high nutrient varieties with high yielding varieties of crops to provide seeds which are both nutritional value and high yielding. This should be done alongside a nutritionist to study storage, processing and cooking of the biofortified crop yields without negatively affecting their available nutrient levels.
  • DNA engineering .This is a group of applied techniques of biotechnology and genetics used to join DNA materials from various species of its characteristics. DNA material has to be altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating or natural recombination to give genetically modified food crop varieties.

Biofortification can be a great way to address the effects of hidden hunger in various ways, e.g.:

  1. It will help beat malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies because of increased micronutrient levels of biofortified crops.
  2. It will help increase people’s thinking capacity thus an increase in work capacity and productivity.
  3. It will lead to economic development and productivity.
  4. It will lead to increased agricultural productivity.
  5. It will lead to environmental sustainability because biofortified crops need less or no fertilizers.

The innovativeness of our approach

Once a micronutrient is bred into a crop line through biofortification, the trait remains for years. The regular consumption of biofortified crops improves the nutritional status of the impoverished. It does not require behaviour changes on part of the people to use biofortified crops since it is hard to change people’s eating habits. Instead it only requires swapping what people eat with what is more nutritious. For example, replacement of ordinary beans with biofortified beans.

Technologies and Methods

Biofrotification is still on a small scale in Uganda because of limited resources and lack of supportive policies through like integration of biofrotifiaction into university curricula, agricultural extension and school feeding programs. In Uganda, people live in poverty and food insecurity which leads to hidden hunger of a couple of micronutrients. Biofortification would be a sustainable approach to reduce hidden hunger.

Potential Partners

Potential partners are, e.g.: London International Development Centre, HarvestPlus, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, National Crop Research Institute, Ugandan National Agricultural Research Organization, local governments of Uganda, the farmers, Gayne and leba comany limited, Samaritan’s pulse and Africa 2000 network.

VOTE FOR THIS PROJECT

Voting ends on June 24, 2018, 11:59 pm (CEST).

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Dankeschön!
Reducing Micronutrient deficiencies among malnourished Ugandans through biofortification

Team: Angella Babirye

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