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Indian J Med Res. 2018 Nov;148(5):621-631. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1893_18.

Nutritional security through crop biofortification in India: Status & future prospects.

Author information

1
Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, India.

Abstract

Malnutrition has emerged as one of the most serious health issues worldwide. The consumption of unbalanced diet poor in nutritional quality causes malnutrition which is more prevalent in the underdeveloped and developing countries. Deficiency of proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals leads to poor health and increased susceptibility to various diseases, which in turn lead to significant loss in Gross Domestic Product and affect the socio-economic structure of the country. Although various avenues such as dietary-diversification, food-fortification and medical-supplementation are available, biofortification of crop varieties is considered as the most sustainable and cost-effective approach where the nutrients reach the target people in natural form. Here, we have discussed the present status on the development of biofortified crop varieties for various nutritional and antinutritional factors. Ongoing programmes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research on the improvement of nutritional traits in different crops have been presented. Challenges and future prospects of crop biofortification in India have also been discussed. The newly developed biofortified crop varieties besides serving as an important source for livelihood to poor people assume great significance in nutritional security.

KEYWORDS:

Biofortification; crop varieties; hidden hunger; malnutrition; nutritional security

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