Agricultural policies have a huge impact on nutrition

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The following is an edited excerpt.

India’s efforts to fight malnutrition may not bear fruit unless there is greater focus on policies to promote diets rich in nutrients and micronutrients, said Howarth Bouis , director of HarvestPlus, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington. HarvestPlus is an interdisciplinary programme that works with academic and research institutions, civil society organizations, governments and private sector in more than 40 countries to breed micronutrient-rich staple food crops through an ingenious process called biofortification, and to make such food crops widely available to malnourished populations.

Over the past 20 years, Bouis has led global efforts to deal with micronutrient deficiencies at its root: by breeding plants selectively such that they provide more of the critical micronutrients required for healthy growth.

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