Agri Revolution: Agriculture is the science of cultivating soil, growing crops and raising livestock which in turn provides most of the world’s food and fabrics. Malnutrition or deficiencies of vitamins, nutrients, affect over one-half of the world’s population with an increased risk of anemia, blindness, infectious diseases, stunting, and sometimes even death. Women and children are especially vulnerable. Many people especially children and women are still suffering with malnutrition in under developed or developing countries. Biotechnology is into the scene to address the pressing industry need for higher and nutritious crop productivity. Agricultural biotechnology is a key and growing component of the global agriculture industry.
Why is Biofortification needed? The nutritional value of crops can be improved through traditional breeding process or genetic engineering methods. The food crops produced through biofortification method are always rich in nutrients like iron, zinc and Vitamin A. In Biofortification, the crop plants themselves are altered to increase nutritive value, instead of adding nutrients to the food after harvesting, as in staple food fortification. Rice is a good target crop for biofortification. Golden rice is an example of biofortification. New biofortified crops like orange ‘super banana’ is currently undergoing human testing in Iowa which produce elevated levels of beta-carotene which. A Food aid organization, HarvestPlus is aimed to develop and scale up the delivery of biofortified nutritious crops around the world.
Biofortification is one option to overcome malnutrition, however novel approaches are needed for better results. Scientific facts show that biofortification is technically feasible without compromising agronomic productivity. The main challenge is to get producers and consumers to accept biofortified crops. Biofortified foods can be in to the use with the advent of good seed systems, market development, demand and product supply.