Opportunities in

Bio Fortified Maize Production

Bio Fortified Maize:

Although the production of Bio fortified maize has been around for about 40 years, most countries are yet to fully tap into the opportunities presented by the production. Bio fortification basically refers to genetic enhancement of micronutrient in crops through plant breeding. The process is said to be a cost effective and sustainable process where micronutrients reach the target group in their natural form. In a recent conference by Crosscorn in Gaborone, John MacRobert, who is the founder of Quality Seeds, said that Bio fortified maize or Quality Protein Maize (QPM) has a lot of benefits to the farmer, livestock as well as general populace. He said the seeds contain good nutritional benefits that can help solve malnutrition.

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Research indicates that normal maize is deficient of two critical amino acids being lysine and tryptophan. Normal maize protein is said to contain lower level of lysine (0.16-0.26%) and tryptophan (0.02-0.06%) which is less than half of the recommended dose specified for human nutrition. The two amino acids are important for development and growth. Research further indicates that over two billion people worldwide suffer from impaired growth and development owing to insufficient supply of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals leading to significant economic losses. The deficiency of lysine and tryptophan is said to be leading to fatigue, delayed growth, loss of appetite, depression, and anxiety in children. According to MacRobert, QPM doubles the essential amino acids. He said malnutrition is basically a lack of protein and QPM is one of the solutions to malnutrition, a view which most researchers agree with. He further said QPM is not a genetically modified seed or product.

MacRobert said that bio-fortified maize production will mainly benefit small holder farmers, vulnerable groups such as children, and commercial livestock farmers. He said opportunities that exist in this production include sustainable nutrition, enhanced nutrition, and animal nutrition. MacRobert said through his company they are seeking partners who will assist in fully tapping in the opportunities within this production. He said they are aiming to produce a QPM maize meal for sustainable nutrition. For enhanced nutrition they aim to produce breakfast food products, snacks and baby foods among others. Lastly he said they aim to produce animal feed as QPM is good for livestock – especially pigs and chickens.

Meanwhile, research shows that maize occupies an important position in world economy as it, along with rice and wheat, provides at least 30% of the food calories to more than 4.5 billion people in 94 developing countries. Maize is also said to be a staple crop for over 900 million poor consumers, including 12-140 million poor families. It is also argued that around 73% of farmland dedicated to maize production worldwide is located in the developing worlds, thus signifying that bio-fortification of essential nutrients into these staple crops has the potential to reduce malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies around the world.

Opportunities in

Bio Fortified
Maize Production

Although the production of Bio fortified maize has been around for about 40 years, most countries are yet to fully tap into the opportunities presented by the production. Bio fortification basically refers to genetic enhancement of micronutrient in crops through plant breeding. The process is said to be a cost effective and sustainable process where micronutrients reach the target group in their natural form. In a recent conference by Crosscorn in Gaborone, John MacRobert, who is the founder of Quality Seeds, said that Bio fortified maize or Quality Protein Maize (QPM) has a lot of benefits to the farmer, livestock as well as general populace. He said the seeds contain good nutritional benefits that can help solve malnutrition.

Research indicates that normal maize is deficient of two critical amino acids being lysine and tryptophan. Normal maize protein is said to contain lower level of lysine (0.16-0.26%) and tryptophan (0.02-0.06%) which is less than half of the recommended dose specified for human nutrition. The two amino acids are important for development and growth. Research further indicates that over two billion people worldwide suffer from impaired growth and development owing to insufficient supply of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals leading to significant economic losses. The deficiency of lysine and tryptophan is said to be leading to fatigue, delayed growth, loss of appetite, depression, and anxiety in children. According to MacRobert, QPM doubles the essential amino acids. He said malnutrition is basically a lack of protein and QPM is one of the solutions to malnutrition, a view which most researchers agree with. He further said QPM is not a genetically modified seed or product.

MacRobert said that bio-fortified maize production will mainly benefit small holder farmers, vulnerable groups such as children, and commercial livestock farmers. He said opportunities that exist in this production include sustainable nutrition, enhanced nutrition, and animal nutrition. MacRobert said through his company they are seeking partners who will assist in fully tapping in the opportunities within this production. He said they are aiming to produce a QPM maize meal for sustainable nutrition. For enhanced nutrition they aim to produce breakfast food products, snacks and baby foods among others. Lastly he said they aim to produce animal feed as QPM is good for livestock – especially pigs and chickens.

Meanwhile, research shows that maize occupies an important position in world economy as it, along with rice and wheat, provides at least 30% of the food calories to more than 4.5 billion people in 94 developing countries. Maize is also said to be a staple crop for over 900 million poor consumers, including 12-140 million poor families. It is also argued that around 73% of farmland dedicated to maize production worldwide is located in the developing worlds, thus signifying that bio-fortification of essential nutrients into these staple crops has the potential to reduce malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies around the world.

*Articles courtesy of Farmers Magazine Botswana

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Crosscorn (Pty) Ltd

Plot 442, Mmamashia, Gaborone, Botswana
P.O. Box AB181ABC, Postnet, Phakalane, Gaborone, Botswana

Contact Numbers:

Office: +267 396 0758/9
Cell 1: +267 72 851 415
Cell 2: +267 72 772 330

Crosscorn Pty Ltd

We’d love to hear from you!

Crosscorn (Pty) Ltd

Plot 442, Mmamashia, Gaborone, Botswana
P.O. Box AB181ABC, Postnet, Phakalane, Gaborone, Botswana

Contact Numbers:

Office: +267 396 0758/9
Cellphone 1: +267 72 851 415
Cellphone 2: +267 72 772 330

Crosscorn Pty Ltd