11 August 2023, India: The Foundation for Development of Rural Value Chains (FDRVC), a Joint Initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development and Tata Trusts, and HarvestPlus, a leading global organization scaling biofortified staple food crops to address malnutrition, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on scaling up the production of biofortified staple crops and foods made from them, creating value chains.
FDRVC is a not-for-profit company set up to support the promotion of professionally managed and producer-owned collective enterprises in select rural value chains in farm and non-farm sectors that are sustainable and profitable. FDRVC is initially setting up Farmer Producer Companies for woman farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.
The cooperation between HarvestPlus and FDRVC rests on their shared mission to promote biofortified crops and establish robust value chains for them. Both organizations recognize the pressing need to address nutritional deficiencies and improve health outcomes in the country. By leveraging their expertise and resources, HarvestPlus and FDRVC are committed to the production and marketing of biofortified crops and value-added products, ensuring the availability of nutrient-rich crops to communities in need.
“Our shared vision of building profitable value chains for biofortified crops will not only empower farmers but also contribute to the development of sustainable local food systems. This MoU represents the beginning of a promising journey towards a healthier and more prosperous nation,” said Alok De, CEO of FDRVC, echoing this sentiment.
CEO of HarvestPlus and HarvestPlus Solutions, Arun Baral, also expressed his enthusiasm. “This partnership marks a significant step towards combatting malnutrition and promoting food security in India. By working together, we can accelerate the adoption of biofortified seeds and make a meaningful impact on the health and well-being of local communities,” he said.
The importance of establishing sustainable health and well-being for farming communities through locally available food systems was emphasized by Binu Cherian, HarvestPlus India Country Manager, “The creation of robust value chains for biofortified crops will play a crucial role in ensuring farmers’ prosperity and improving the nutrition status of their communities.”
HarvestPlus and FDRVC are eager to embark on this collaborative endeavour, which is expected to bring about positive changes in the agricultural landscape and significantly impact the nutrition, health, and livelihood outcomes of smallholder Indian farmers.
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