16 February 2023, Nigeria: The first national recipe book including nutrient-enriched foods has launched in Nigeria. “Biofortified Crops On My Plate” features a collection of practical and traditional dishes that have been cleverly adapted to provide added nutrition and fight malnutrition through biofortified foods.
“This recipe book is a testament to the power of food to nourish and heal, and we hope it will inspire people to incorporate nutritious biofortified crops into their diets and improve their health and well-being,” said Erick Boy, Chief Nutritionist, HarvestPlus.
Developed by HarvestPlus in partnership with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Federal Ministry of Health, and its development partners, the recipes include popular Nigerian biofortified staples such as vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, and vitamin A orange sweet potato. These nutrient-enriched crops have been shown to reduce micronutrient deficiencies and improve the health of women and children when eaten regularly.
Biofortification uses conventional breeding to develop food crops that provide more of the essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) required for good health. In Nigeria, micronutrient malnutrition—known as hidden hunger—is a public health problem: approximately one in three preschool-aged children suffer from vitamin A deficiency, and over 50 percent of women are anemic.
Traditional white non-biofortified cassava, maize, and sweet potatoes are among Nigeria’s most consumed staple foods, but they are low in essential micronutrients like vitamin A. The adoption of yellow and orange biofortified varieties in their place has led to these crops being perceived not only as good sources of energy but as nutritious foods with proven health benefits.
Biofortified Crops On My Plate is integral to HarvestPlus and its partners’ efforts to provide nutritious and tasty ways for families to incorporate nutrient-enriched crops into their daily meals. The book offers over 50 recipes using vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, and vitamin A orange sweet potatoes as the main ingredients. The recipes have been developed to meet the daily nutrition needs of all family members and to provide a diverse menu using biofortified crops, aiming to improve nutrient intake and reduce malnutrition.
The book is a valuable resource for mothers, caregivers, cooks, food processors, bakers, teachers, and students to incorporate biofortified vitamin A food crops into their diets. It is also a useful tool for researchers, development workers in the agriculture and health sectors, agricultural value chain developers, extension agents, health workers, and policymakers working to combat nutrition insecurity and poverty.
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