UN SDG #2 Zero Hunger UN SDG #2
UN SDG #3 Good Health and Well-being UN SDG #3

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Creating Bioavailable Nutrients in a Single Staple Plant Species

People in poverty often eat a diet with limited variety, consisting of a single staple crop that is poor in nutritional content.  Recent developments in molecular biology and genetics have created an opportunity to develop modified plant varieties with specifically desired characteristics. This way, people can be provided with nutrition tailored to their specific needs based off of their region.

challenge

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Creating Bioavailable Nutrients in a Single Staple Plant Species

People in poverty often eat a diet with limited variety, consisting of a single staple crop that is poor in nutritional content.  Recent developments in molecular biology and genetics have created an opportunity to develop modified plant varieties with specifically desired characteristics. This way, people can be provided with nutrition tailored to their specific needs based off of their region.
38M
people impacted
$1.7T
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

In the developing world, people often eat a diet with limited variety, consisting of a single staple crop that is poor in nutritional content.  Recent developments in molecular biology and genetics have created an opportunity to develop modified plant varieties with specifically desired characteristics.  However, most of the modifications confer only a single new, desirable trait; moreover, even when crops have been fortified for the diet of one region, the variety may not be ecologically adjusted to or traditionally consumed in other regions. We currently lack a strategy for the effective, efficient, and socially and culturally acceptable alteration of a major dietary staple, to achieve the delivery of multiple micronutrients, such as minerals and vitamins, to poor populations in a single food.  Moreover, genetic changes could ensure higher protein content and the presence of essential amino acids.

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the impact
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ideas
Ideas Description

To use transgenesis, biochemistry, selective breeding of plants, and other appropriate technologies such as apomixes, to provide combinations of micronutrients, vitamins, and essential amino acids in a bioavailable form in local crops, such as rice, wheat, sorghum, millets, cassava, potatoes, maize, bananas and others, or to enhance energy density and improve protein quality in such foods, in a socially and culturally acceptable way. Potential Benefits include reduction of morbidity and mortality from malnutrition.

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