18 December 2022, Basel: Improving nutrition and empowering women go hand in hand. HarvestPlus and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (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.
HarvestPlus and SFSA 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 will focus 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 begins December 2022. Both organizations will work to ensure the commercial viability of biofortification, bringing profits to farmers and empowering women as farmers and entrepreneurs.
“We are delighted to work with HarvestPlus to broaden the reach of biofortified seeds to small-scale producers”, commented Simon Winter, Executive Director of SFSA. “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 incomes, including through lucrative international markets. Selling nutrient-enriched crops to broader markets also improves non-farming families’ access to foods that can improve their diets.
This collaboration builds on previous successful partnerships between HarvestPlus and SFSA. For example, the organizations 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 equitably gain access to advice, high-quality farm inputs, credit, and markets.
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