Posts Tagged ‘Colombia’

New zinc-biofortified maize hybrid provides improved nutrition for Colombian farmers

By Natasha Nagarajan

Colombian maize farmer inspects his zinc-enriched biofortified maize plants. Photo: HarvestPlus LAC.

A new zinc-enriched maize hybrid developed for Colombia by HarvestPlus with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) will provide added nutrition and financial security to rural farming families in the coffee-growing region of Colombia.

First zinc maize variety launched to reduce malnutrition in Colombia

by Jennifer Johnson

Left to right: Miguel Lengua, director general of Maxi Semillas S.A.S; Bram Govaerts, Latin America regional director at CIMMYT; Martin Kropff, CIMMYT director general; Howdy Bouis, interim HarvestPlus CEO; and Felix San Vicente, CIMMYT maize breeder at the launch of new biofortified zinc maize. Photo: Jennifer Johnson/CIMMYT.

A new zinc-enriched maize variety was released in Colombia on February 23 to help combat malnutrition in South America.

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in human development, but is not naturally produced by humans. Zinc deficiency can lead to impaired growth and development, respiratory infections, diarrheal disease and a general weakening of the immune system. In Colombia, an average of 22 percent of the population is affected by zinc deficiency. However in certain regions, such as the pacific coast and Amazonia, up to 65 percent of the population is deficient in zinc.