From Molecule to Molecule

An agricultural value chain often refers to the sequence of events from a crop being produced to it being ingested. Although ensuring that highly nutritious crops are being developed, distributed and digested is important, to guarantee that they are targeting and relieving micronutrient deficiencies, requires an extending of value chains as we know them: from molecule of micronutrient in the crop to molecule of micronutrient, and its effects, in the human body. Moreover, evidence of impact needs to be collected at each step along this chain.

HarvestPlus, launched in 2004 and part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), has developed several biofortified crops such as orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OSP), which boasts enhanced levels of vitamin A. HarvestPlus works along an impact pathway, not unlike a value chain, for each biofortified crop, which encompasses three phases: discovery of the problem and possible solutions; development of crops and methods of adoption and delivery of crops including measurement of impact. [Read more…]