Improving Lives with Nutritious Crops and Foods in 2020 VOICES OF BENEFICIARIES

Amid the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, HarvestPlus and its partners worked hard this year to ensure that smallholder farming families could still grow and benefit from nutritious biofortified crops, and biofortified food SMEs could still secure supply. These crops are naturally enriched with vitamins and minerals essential for good health and strong immune systems—the first line of defense for vulnerable populations against infection and other health threats. The voices of beneficiaries below attest to the positive impact these crops and foods have on their lives in these challenging circumstances.


“I have heard of the many nutrition and health benefits of Vitamin A maize and I’m very delighted that after harvest, my family will experience them when we start consuming the maize. I hope to be able to sell some of the harvest to earn income and invest in inputs for a second growing season and pay my children’s school fees” — Luvunzu Mutwale

Biofortified Crop Project Reaches Refugees in Zambia

“The main objective is to improve food security at the household level and create a sustainable source of income for smallholder farmers, especially women and youth. I am proud to say that 92 percent of Shais Foods workers are women.” — Miriam Chipulu

Women-Led Biofortified Food Businesses: Advancing Nutrition and Health


“We managed to sell most of our beans and like always, our family's health is our number one priority, so we kept some of it to eat. We used the profit to pay school fees for our children and to buy new clothes for the whole family. I was also able to buy inputs and seed for tomatoes, butternuts, and rape.” — Artwell Chorwadza

Choosing Farming Over Mining, Zimbabwe Couple Thrives

“I have plans for expanding the Sunshine Group, but we will always produce biofortified foods as that has the potential to save thousands of families from hidden hunger” — Lilian Murangariri

Women-Led Biofortified Food Businesses: Advancing Nutrition and Health

“Since I started growing orange maize, I feel very proud because I am growing and feeding my family healthy and nutritious food. My family enjoys the sadza and other various products made from orange maize like mahewu, porridge, samp, and chimodho” — Austin Mhembere

Vitamin A Maize: A Biofortified Crop Nourishing Thousands of Zimbabwean Families


“With the COVID19 pandemic, food is scarce. That motivates you to work even though you are risking your life. How can you see people struggling and not help? We are fortunate in the countryside that we grow nutritious crops. That makes you want to keep working and keep planting.” — Ariquimedes Peralta

Delivering Nourishing Sweet Potatoes to Panama’s Markets Amid COVID-19 Crisis


“I have employed and trained a sales force of 30 women from different regions of Dhaka city to help commercialize zinc rice and expand our reach. There are set targets and commissions paid out to these women employees. I strongly believe that my business is not only empowering my fellow women by also raising the nutritional status of undernourished vulnerable people in my community.” — Fakrun Nahar

Women-Led Biofortified Food Businesses: Advancing Nutrition and Health

“This season I kept a higher percentage of the harvest for my family’s consumption because this zinc biofortified rice provides important nutrition to my children and grandchildren” — Hamidul Islam

Partnering For Impact: World Vision and HarvestPlus Improve Lives in Vulnerable Communities


“Vitamin A cassava is a major source of nourishing food readily available to the people of my community as well as a source of income for women and youth. So many young people and women are now employed in the cassava value chain. They also feed their families with products from vitamin A cassava especially the snack (Combobites), which is very affordable, nutritious, and good for children.” — Hassana Hassan

Women-Led Biofortified Food Businesses: Advancing Nutrition and Health


“Today, hunger is a thing of the past, my children are fed on orange sweet potatoes, iron beans, and eggs, they are nice looking and healthy. I am happy my household income is increasing, and I call upon my fellow farmers in Buteme and outside Buteme to adopt healthier foods.” — Nabirye Scovia

Ugandan Youth Farmer Dreams Big for Her Little Plantation of Nourishing Crops


“This income from selling orange sweet potato vines has enabled me to pay school fees for my two children and contributed towards daily family expenses. I also made other products from the orange sweet potato like chapatti and mandazi which I regularly sell to the community from my shop. I am planning to introduce sweet potato porridge to the elementary school children in my area so that the children may have meals that are more nutritious at school.” — Hellen Maina

Partnering For Impact: World Vision and HarvestPlus Improve Lives in Vulnerable Communities


“As part of our goal, in addition to farming zinc wheat for our personal consumption, we have been supplying about half of our annual output to the local government primary school for the past three years. Children enjoy eating these rotis for lunch. We’ve noticed the children in the village have less diarrhea and women feel their overall health has improved” — Sadhu Saran

Zinc Wheat Provides Livelihood Opportunity for People with Disabilities in India

Democratic Republic of the Congo

“I am leading an association of women farmers and I can confirm that farmers are happy to access quality seed at affordable prices, at the right time and right next to their farms during our field days. They don’t have to put their safety at risk as this helps them avoid travel for long distances to sell their products or to buy seed as well as other products.” — Makamba Kabara

Responding to COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of Congo


“It is very important for me to plant both beans and maize because it allows me to generate employment. In any busy season, I am able to hire up to 15 people from my community. In addition, these biofortified crops have allowed my six nephews to generate income for their studies, since each one has been assigned a percentage of land to cultivate and produce.” — Julio Cesar Portillo

Farming Families Worldwide Are Increasingly Growing More Than One Biofortified Crop


“My iron beans can last me at least four months. And in the area there are at least five producers who are planting biofortified crops, since we share the seeds among ourselves. This is very normal in the countryside. The neighbor comes and you say, ‘Have this seed.’ We share seed among ourselves. And in doing so, we share the nutritional value that it provides!” — Nolberto Pérez

Farming Families Worldwide Are Increasingly Growing More Than One Biofortified Crop


“The biofortified seeds and fertilizers supplied to us for a period of two years have reached 68 hospital clients (33 females and 35 males). They were direct beneficiaries of the program, but more than 280 families indirectly benefitted from the program; the direct beneficiaries shared their crops with other members of the community hence spreading the reach to far more vulnerable families.” — Donatten Twizelimana

Farming Families Worldwide Are Increasingly Growing More Than One Biofortified Crop

We thank our partners around the world who have worked tirelessly this year, under the most difficult conditions, to continue to help us engage and empower farming families, build their resilience, and improve their livelihoods.