Posts Tagged ‘Zinc maize’

Better together: Partnership around zinc maize improves nutrition in Guatemala

by Jennifer Johnson

On World Food Day, October 16, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) joins the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and partners around the world in their call to realize Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger by 2030. Learn how CIMMYT, HarvestPlus and Semilla Nueva are working together to use biofortified zinc-enriched maize to reduce malnutrition in Guatemala, an important component of Goal 2.

Over 46 percent of children under five in Guatemala suffer from chronic malnutrition. More than 40 percent of the country’s rural population is deficient in zinc, an essential micronutrient that plays a crucial role in pre-natal and post-natal development and is key to maintaining a healthy immune system. CIMMYT, HarvestPlus and Semilla Nueva are working together to change this, through the development and deployment of the world’s first biofortified zinc-enriched maize.

First zinc-enriched maize in Guatemala to combat malnutrition

By Jennifer Johnson

Tortillas made of zinc-enriched biofortified maize. Photo: HarvestPlus.

The first zinc-enriched maize varieties developed specifically for farmers in Guatemala were released this month as part of efforts to improve food and nutrition security in a country where over 46 percent of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition.

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.