Scientists are contributing a lot to household nutrition


Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: ILRI/Bio-Innovate

Four scientists win a prize for aiding health, nutrition

by Esther Nakkazi

“The award is also a proof to the policymakers and all Ugandans that scientists are contributing a lot to household nutrition.” – Jolly Kabirizi, National Livestock Resources Research Institute, Uganda

Speed read

  • Vitamin A deficiency makes 500,000 children go blind a year worldwide
  • Four scientists win a prize for combating vitamin A deficiency
  • Their R&D has led to many African nations getting better potato varieties


    Four scientists — three of them in Africa — have won US$250,000 for combined success in improving nutrition and healththrough combating vitamin A deficiency in vulnerable populations.

    Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, announced last month (28 June), that the 2016 World Food Prize will be awarded to them.

    The award indicates the need for investing in agricultural research to improve the livelihood of the poor, said Quinn, in a statement.

    Maria Andrade and Robert Mwanga, working for the International Potato Center (CIP), have bred the Vitamin A-enriched orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), which has contributed to averting blindness.

    The other winner, Jan Low, who is based in Kenya, is the project manager of the Sweet potato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) project for the CIP.

    SASHA advocates for use of a proven integrated agriculture and nutrition approach in Sub-Sharan Africa.

    Every year up to 500,000 children worldwide go blind and half of them die within 12 months after going blind due to vitamin A deficiency, says the WHO.

    OFSP provides vitamin A to children, pregnant and lactating mothers.

Read the full article: SciDevNet


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.