Yara India, a subsidiary of the leading crop nutrition company Yara International, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HarvestPlus Solutions (HPS) to seamlessly incorporate nutrient-rich seeds and foods into global agricultural systems, helping vulnerable communities to boost their intake of essential vitamins and minerals.

A pilot programme, already underway in Gorakhpur of Uttar Pradesh, intends to motivate 500 farmers to adopt the zinc wheat value chain. The primary objective of the pilot is to evaluate the feasibility, effectiveness and impact of the approach, before expanding its reach to benefit a larger number of farmers and communities, Yara India said in a statement.

Biofortified crops

The project titled “Establishing nutri-farms with smallholder farmers in India” will get a boost after the MoU as HarvestPlus has been working among farmers and research bodies to spread the adoption of biofortified crops. “The strategic partnership seeks to transform food systems through a focus on delivering nutritious food to all individuals, with a special emphasis on vulnerable communities. The project employs a comprehensive approach that combines the use of biofortified seeds with capacity strengthening of farmers in good agricultural practices (GAP), including efficient nutrient management. This approach aims to enhance farm productivity and bolster farmers’ resilience toward food and nutrition security,” Yara India said.

In ensuring a sustainable supply chain, the project will help facilitate the connection of farmers with relevant markets, enabling them to access businesses in the biofortified value chain, it said. This will not only contribute to improved food quality but will also positively impact the income and livelihoods of farmers. “Our partnership focuses on enhancing farm productivity, improving food quality, uplift farmer livelihoods and revolutionise food systems for a healthier and more resilient future,” said Sanjiv Kanwar, managing director of Yara (South Asia).

“We aim to introduce innovative bundles that promote sustainable farming practices and enhance crop nutrition and yield. This collaboration stands as a testament to our shared dedication to building a healthier, more resilient future for communities around the world,” said Ravinder Grover, Regional Coordinator (Asia) of HarvestPlus, a non-profit entity established to address barriers to the scaling and distribution of biofortified seeds and food products to vulnerable populations.