The latest in the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series is published today – Rice Biofortification: Lessons for Global Science and Development by Sally Brooks.
Biofortification, the enrichment of staple food crops with essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin A – has been heralded as a uniquely sustainable solution to the problem of micronutrient deficiency or ‘hidden hunger’.
By breeding or genetically engineering crop varieties with enhanced nutrient levels, proponents argue, the solution to this intractable global problem can be built into the seed itself, and so reach previously unreachable populations in remote rural areas of the developing world.
But is biofortification the ‘silver bullet’ that will succeed where other interventions have failed? With nutrition higher on donor agendas than has been the case for many years, is it an idea whose time has come? This new book engagemes critcally with the assumptions of this approach.