WEBINAR: Biofortification Amid COVID-19 and beyond

28 September 2020. Biofortification Amid COVID-19 and beyond. Lessons from COVID-19 and the Path to Scaling Up

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of biofortified staple crops as a practical, cost-effective strategy for the delivery of essential micronutrients to vulnerable rural communities in low- and middle-income countries—especially smallholder farming families who cannot afford or readily access nutritionally diverse diets. As a result of income shocks and other disruptions caused by COVID-19, many of these farming families—as well as other low-resource populations—are relying even more on relatively affordable staple crops for sustenance. 

Biofortification can deliver nutrition through these crops. The pandemic also necessitated rapid adjustments by biofortification implementers to ensure that farming families are able to continue to access biofortified planting materials and farming support services, and can still access markets when they have surplus harvest. 

In this webinar, biofortification implementers provided country-level examples of how their programs have adjusted to the new reality on the ground, and they will share key lessons for building better nutrition and livelihood resilience for their smallholder beneficiaries. The webinar discussed following key questions: 
  • What does the “COVID-19 effect” mean for ongoing efforts to scale up biofortification globally, as a nutrition solution available under any conditions? 
  • What are priorities for action by governments, funders, practitioners, and other stakeholders to keep the scaling up effort on track? 
  • Dr. Asrat Dibaba, Chief of Party, ENRICH-MNCH Program, World Vision Canada 
  • Nora Tobin, Executive Director, Self-Help International 
  • Sylvia Magezi, Uganda Country Manager, HarvestPlus 
  • Simon Heck, Program Director, International Potato Center (CIP/CGIAR)
  • Moderator: Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Author of “The First 1,000 Days” & “The Last Hunger Season”

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