The HarvestZinc Fertilizer (www.harvestzinc.org) Project has been developed under HarvestPlus Program (www.harvestplus.org) in four Phases. The first 3 Phases lasted for 9 years, from 2008 to 2017. The 4th Phase of the project was started on 1st of January 2018 and expected to take 3 years. Major aim of the project to increase micronutrient concentrations of food crops by using fertilizer strategy (i.e., agronomic biofortification).
In the period of 2008 to 2017, the project had accomplished its objectives and produced novel results and insights of practical relevance and importance. The results reveal the feasibility of the fertilizer strategy and its vast potential in increasing zinc (Zn), iodine (I) and selenium (Se) concentrations of food crops, particularly cereals.
Agronomic biofortification of food crops with micronutrients provides a practical and cost-effective option to tackle the global Zn malnutrition problem. Results generated recently for rice and wheat under HarvestZinc demonstrated that the fertilizer and breeding approaches are complementary and synergistic. Exploiting synergies from combining genetic and agronomic approaches has high potential to boost further grain concentrations to desired levels.
It has been decided to continue this highly promising fertilizer project for the period of 2018-2020 (Phase 4) due to its great potential to create large short and longer term practical impacts and contribute to and complement the “biofortification concept” in selected food crops and target countries.
For further detail see following papers:
Bouis, H. and Saltzman A. 2017: Improving nutrition through biofortification: A review of evidence from HarvestPlus, 2003 through 2016. Global Food Sec. Agric. Policy Econ. Environ. 12: 49-58.
Cakmak, I. 2008: Enrichment of cereal grains with zinc: Agronomic or genetic biofortification? Plant and Soil, 302: 1-17.
Cakmak I and Kutman B. 2018: Agronomic biofortification of cereals with zinc: a review. European J. Soil Sci. 69: 172-180