Sunday, January 31, 2021

Pakistani Universities Promoting Moringa to Fight Malnutrition

Aga Khan University and Sindh Agriculture University are jointly promoting Moringa tree planting in Pakistan's Thar desert to fight malnutrition, according to multiple media reports. Moringa has gained popularity as superfood in the West in recent years. People of drought-stricken Tharparkar have been suffering from malnutrition and disease in the middle of a long-running drought in the region. Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam, and the Aga Khan University will plant 40,000 moringa tree seedlings in Matiari, a rural district in central Sindh, in an effort to improve the health of malnourished mothers, children and adolescents in the area. The moringa tree plantation campaign has been funded by the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment, a $10 million fund dedicated to practical solutions to environmental problems.  

Moringa Flowers

There is high incidence of stunting and wasting among children in Tharparkar district and elsewhere in rural Sindh due mainly to their very limited diet of daal-roti (lentils and bread) which does not supply essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals for good health and early development. Moringa tree packs 92 essential nutrients, 46 antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories and 18 amino acids which help your body heal and build muscle. Native to South Asia, the hardy and drought-resistant Moringa tree can contribute to everything from better vision and stronger immune system to healthier bones and skin. Moringa has 25 times more iron than spinach, 17 times more calcium than milk, 15 times more potassium than bananas and nine times more protein than yoghurt,  according to Dr. Shahzad Basra of the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan. “It also has seven times more vitamin C compared to oranges, over 10 times more vitamin A compared to carrots and three times more vitamin E compared to almonds", he added. No wonder the powder made from Moringa leaves is sold as superfood in the West. Global market for Moringa products is estimated at $5 billion and growing at 8% CAGR. 


Child Nutrition in Pakistan. Source: PDHS

Moringa tree is also known as Drumstick tree. In Pakistan, it is called Suhanjana  (سھانجنا) or Mungay (مونگے) tree. Every part of this tree offers uses in nutritional or commercial applications. The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root of the tree all have medicinal properties. Oil from Moringa seeds is used in foods, perfumes and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction can be used as a green fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.

The Thar project supported by Aga Khan University goes beyond just planting and growing trees. Its goals include educating the people of its benefits and showing how its leaves and other parts of the tree can be cooked and eaten in the form of curries and sauces, according to a report by Voice of America

In 2017, Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam had planted 5,000 Moringa trees with 500 households for human and animal consumption. These drought-resistant fast growing trees have now matured. Their consumption is showing good results in terms of improving nutrition and health of these 5000 families. 

Here's a BBC report on Moringa in Pakistan:

https://youtu.be/3Wc2Yw_VDFE

 



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16 comments:

Rashid A. said...

Excellent work by universities!

Moringa is a tree of life.

I have been using Moringa Leaf powder for over two years. It helped me TREMENDOUSLY! I brought it from Pakistan.

By jogging/speed walking caused a lot of join pain. Moringa is the relief.

Nutrients values are off the chart!

In Punjab it is called Sohanjna (سھانجنا). Very common and is commonly used as food. It is also available here in US. Amazon has it.

Desi stores also sell Fresh Moringa leaves. Excellent for cooking with spinach etc.

Riaz Haq said...

Rashid: "I have been using Moringa Leaf powder for over two years. It helped me TREMENDOUSLY! I brought it from Pakistan"

Thank you for sharing your own experience. 

I only recently learned about it. But apparently it's cooked and eaten by a lot of people in Pakistan.

Here's what YouTube search revealed:  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=suhanjna+cooking

Khan said...

U know moringa is a 7 billion dollar market. Medical cannabis is a 25 billion dollar market. Ashwagandha too has huge potential. We have them in abundance but blinded by poverty of vision.

Riaz Haq said...

FAO applauds bio-saline agriculture, fisheries models in Thar


https://www.brecorder.com/news/40058348/fao-applauds-bio-saline-agriculture-fisheries-models-in-thar

Rizvi said, they have received successful outcomes under pilot projects of Biosaline Agriculture and fisheries in Thar Desert, which needs to be scaled up with the support of Govt of Sindh and technical expertly support from organizations like FAO. “We have planted 850,000 trees under Thar Million Tree Program and have also cultivated vegetables, fruits, moringa, multiple species of fodder like Rhodes Grass, Corn, and Jantar,” he added.

-----------------------------
United Nations organization on agricultural development “Food, and Agriculture Organization” (FAO) has applauded innovative agriculture models in Thar and termed it ‘critical for to the success of this area.’

The FAO delegation led by Country Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Rebekah Olivia Bell visited Thar and witnessed Bio-saline Agriculture and Bio-saline Fisheries pilot projects being carried out by Thar Foundation and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) in Thar Coal Block II and Gorano area.

The delegation included FAO senior officials Ashraf Ali, Amir Sultan, Ghulam Qadir Mangrio, Shariq Aziz, and Aamer Irshad. They were briefed on Apple Ber Orchards, Sindh’s largest private-sector saplings nursery, Thar Million Tree initiative, Green Park, and Gorano Pond where organic fisheries being practiced. The delegation was also served cooked organic Gorano fish which has been declared fit for human consumption by a leading laboratory of Pakistan.

The delegation was told that the Biosaline agriculture pilots were being carried out in collaboration with Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), Livestock and Fisheries Department, Govt of Sindh and Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam, and Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization, University of Karachi. It was further told that Thar has great potential for Biosaline agriculture and fisheries, as 80 billion cubic meters of water with 5000-6000 TDS available at the 3rd aquifer beneath the soil, which can be pumped out to water nutritive crops for human and livestock population.

Speaking during the visit, Ms. Rebekah Olivia applauded the initiatives and thanked them for showing the initiatives and explaining ambitious models. “The work carried out is critical to the success of this area,” she commented. She said, FAO provides technical assistance to the provincial and federal governments of Pakistan and has established its offices in Sindh to work closer in the areas of mutual interest. “Agriculture models should benefit local communities in terms of livelihood betterments and develop linkages with the private sector,” she added.

Briefing the delegation about different initiatives, Thar Foundation and SECMC CEO, Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi said the all the community development initiatives undertaken by them have been linked with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We would like to aim at making Islamkot Taluka UN-SDG compliant by the year 2025,” said Rizvi. And for this purpose, he added that a comprehensive house-to-house survey has been carried out by Thar Foundation in consultation with UN-SDG Cell P&D Dept and UNDP.

Rizvi said, they have received successful outcomes under pilot projects of Biosaline Agriculture and fisheries in Thar Desert, which needs to be scaled up with the support of Govt of Sindh and technical expertly support from organizations like FAO. “We have planted 850,000 trees under Thar Million Tree Program and have also cultivated vegetables, fruits, moringa, multiple species of fodder like Rhodes Grass, Corn, and Jantar,” he added.

Rashid A. said...

Desi stores have fresh Suhanjna branches with leaves on. Try to cook then with spinach. You can make it like Palak Gosht. If you like the taste, then go straight for Suhanjna Gosht.

Riaz Haq said...

Global Moringa Products Market Size Will Reach USD 8,400 Million by 2026: Facts & Factors
According to the [195+ Pages PDF] research report, the global Moringa Products Market was estimated at USD 5,000 Million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 8,400 Million by 2026. The global Moringa Products Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% from 2020 to 2027.

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/11/10/2123557/0/en/Global-Moringa-Products-Market-Size-Will-Reach-USD-8-400-Million-by-2026-Facts-Factors.html


Moringa oleifera also is known as drumstick tree has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and anti-depressant properties and hence is used to make various products with medicinal properties. The tree is native to areas of India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and is mainly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Various parts of the moringa tree such as bark, fruit, root, leaves, flowers, and seeds are used to make medicine and various products with health beneficial and medicinal properties. It is a fast-growing and drought-resistant tree full of minerals and supporting vitamins.

---------------------------------

New York, NY, Nov. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Facts and Factors have published a new research report titled “Moringa Products Market By Product (Tea, Seeds, Oil, Leaf Powder, and Others), By Distribution Channel (Offline and Online), By Application (Cosmetics, Dietary Supplements, Pharmaceuticals, and Others), And By Region: Global Industry Outlook, Market Size, Business Intelligence, Consumer Preferences, Statistical Surveys, Comprehensive Analysis, Historical Developments, Current Trends, and Forecasts, 2020–2026”.

According to the research study, the global Moringa Products Market was estimated at USD 5,000 Million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 8,400 Million by 2026. The global Moringa Products Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% from 2020 to 2027.

Global Moringa Products Market Growing Attributed To the Increasing Shift Of Consumers Towards Organic Medication And Growing Health Awareness Among People Creating A Demand For Nutritional Supplements

Moringa oleifera also is known as drumstick tree has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and anti-depressant properties and hence is used to make various products with medicinal properties. The tree is native to areas of India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and is mainly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Various parts of the moringa tree such as bark, fruit, root, leaves, flowers, and seeds are used to make medicine and various products with health beneficial and medicinal properties. It is a fast-growing and drought-resistant tree full of minerals and supporting vitamins.

---

Moringa tree cultivation is mainly concentrated in India and some parts of Africa. Hence global demand is fulfilled through export due to geographical limitations. The majority of moringa products are bought through online channels as the benefits of the moringa tree are not familiar with the people. Nevertheless, online channels provide various coupons and discounts which is driving internet users to buy via e-commerce platforms. Moringa tea latte and chocolate latte along with herbal tea was launched by Philippines Moringa and More Corporation as an initiative to enter the food and beverage industry and also to increase the adoption rate of moringa. Moringa tree cultivators are striving to develop a new cultivation method to increase the moringa leaves production. New Global Energy Inc. is one of such companies that is working on developing a new moringa cultivation method by experimenting on 1.2 million moringa trees and is anticipating to produce 390,000 pounds of moringa leaves yearly.

Riaz Haq said...

Native to South Asia, the hardy and drought-resistant Moringa tree can contribute to everything from better vision and stronger immune system to healthier bones and skin. Moringa has 25 times more iron than spinach, 17 times more calcium than milk, 15 times more potassium than bananas and nine times more protein than yoghurt, according to Dr. Shahzad Basra of the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan. “It also has seven times more vitamin C compared to oranges, over 10 times more vitamin A compared to carrots and three times more vitamin E compared to almonds", he added. No wonder the powder made from Moringa leaves is sold as superfood in the West. Global market for Moringa products is estimated at $5 billion and growing at 8% CAGR.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2021/01/pakistani-universities-promoting.html

Saifuddin T. said...

Moringa is an essential ingredient in Gujrati cuisine. We still make Daal with succulent Moringa which gives it a unique flavor and taste.

Anonymous said...

Moringa Powder in Pakistan
Moringa Pakistan: Buy Premium Moringa powder
Moringa Pakistan: Buy Premium Moringa powder
Feb 26, 2020·7 min read

You may buy quality moringa powder in premium form from morniga pure Pakistan. It is available in 1 kg, 500g and 250g packing. You may visit https://moringa-pakistan.business.site/ or https://www.facebook.com/Moringa.Lahore.Pakistan/ to explore the facts and place order. To direct contact connect whatsapp at https://wa.me/923024184220


https://medium.com/@moringa.pakistan/moringa-powder-in-pakistan-a2c006dff34f#:~:text=Moringa%20is%20cultivated%20in%20southern,milk%20production%20in%20dairy%20animals.

Moringa is cultivated in southern Punjab of Pakistan and surrounding Areas of Sindh. It is utilized as food and supplement for both humans and animals. In small villages across Pakistan, people use to for animals to boost the milk production in dairy animals. An estimate 3–5 kg milk is increased depends upon the type of animal.
Moringa powder price in Pakistan
Moringa is available in different prices and qualities. For animals, it is available from Rs.200–400/- per kg in leaves form. Whereas in powdered form for human consumption . The good quality or premium grade powder starts from price Rs. 1600/- to Rs. 3000/- per kg. Most, people or companies in Pakistan usually supply low grade powder in price for premium grade moringa powder. That’s way always buy from authentic shop and trustworthy fellow. We recommend you to buy moringa powder from https://moringa-pakistan.business.site/ in reasonable price.
Moringa in context to Pakistan
Ailing health and healthy food instability are significant difficulties in Pakistan. As indicated by the World Food Program Household Food Security and Nutrition Assessment, a fourth of the populace lack healthy foods and 41% of all youthful population with age less than five nutrient deficiencies. Given its high healthy benefits, Moringa could assume a job in diminishing food weakness for nutrition and lack of healthy sustenance in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

“While carrying out hydrogeological studies for Thar coal project, we found out abundant water reserves of groundwater at the depth of 450 plus feet in the whole of the desert region,” said Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SECMC and Thar Foundation.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40064859

Speaking exclusively to Business Recorder, Rizvi said our studies suggest the availability of 80 billion cubic feet of water underneath coal, TDS level quality of which ranges between 5000-7000 PPM.

The available water in Thar has the potential to irrigate thousands of acres of land by applying modern watering methods such as drip and sprinkler systems, he added.

He said in collaboration with Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization of Karachi University, we have produced commercially viable production of Apple Ber, Rhodes Grass, Castor Oil, Cluster Bean, and vegetables.

Utilizing the underground saline water, Thar Foundation has piloted a 40 Acres land to grow fruits, vegetables, and local grass species and established Sindh’s largest private sector nursery which nurtures 500,000 saplings at a time. It has also set up a 68-acre Green Park which has grown local species of trees that comprises Neem, Babur, Roheero, Kandi, Moringa, and other species.

Umair Aslam Butt, Manager Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) of SECMC said that they have also planted 860,000 trees of mostly local species under the Thar Million Tree campaign by utilizing Biosaline water.

“This is not merely a campaign to plant one million trees but a vision to make greener Thar by collaboration with various entities including Sindh Forest Department, Urban Forestry, HANDS Organization, and others,” said Mr. Butt.

He said with the technical help of partners like PARC, Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam, and ISHU-KU, they adopted proven plantation techniques to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts jointly.

Another massive opening in Thar is the organic fish farming by setting up small- and large-scale fish farms at the pattern of Gorano Pond, which cultivates tons of fish-catch every year. Gorano is 35 KMs south of the Islamkot Taulka where an artificial reservoir of 1500 Acres was established. Dewatering started in April 2017 from SECMC coalmine and so far, 600 Acres of the reservoir have been filled with water.

Project In Charge of the Gorano Fish farming, Hafiz Shakeel told that this is the perfect illustration of innovation derived by the idea of utilizing the excess volume of underground water for which more than 100,000 fish-seedlings (3-4inches in size) were initially released and within 8-9 months, fishes became the size of more than 1Kg only on natural feed (Zooplanktons, Phytoplanktons, Algae and other marine insects available in Pond) and were declared fit for consumption by an external laboratory.

After the successful production, Hafiz said Thar Foundation and Sindh Fisheries Department under a joint venture also released 200,000 fish seedlings.

He said seedlings of 3–4-inch size released in 2018 have now 8kg-12kg in weight, while seedlings released in 2019 have grown to 4kg-6kg.

Riaz Haq said...

About 85% of the Thar desert is located within the Indian state of Rajasthan. Water is provided to the people living in Rajasthan’s desert area via the 650-kilometre Indira Gandhi Canal, which begins in the Indian state of Punjab and ends in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/regional-cooperation/pakistan-thar-desert/

Bakhshal Khan Lashari, project director at the US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology in Jamshoro, said a similar project in Thar is possible.

“There is no technical issue in providing canal water to Thar. It becomes a point of attraction for tourists when it turns green after rains and the rain-fed agriculture carried out by poor locals every year suggests that the soil has the potential for agricultural production. Although the topography of Indian Rajasthan and Pakistan’s Thar desert are different, a canal can be built and provide water in Thar,” Lashari told The Third Pole.

While Tharparkar has been deprived of canal water, the districts bordering it (Badin, Umerkot and Mirpur Khas) do have this vital resource. In Pervez Musharaf’s regime in the early 2000s, the government tried to supply water via pipelines from Naukot to Mithi and Kaloi to Diplo. But during the catastrophic 2010 floods, the pipeline between Kaloi and Diplo was damaged. The Naukot-Mithi pipeline, which initially supplied water every week, now supplies water once a month — and only to the residents of the city of Mithi.

Political hurdles

Political infighting is the biggest hurdle to canal construction. The government of Sindh and federal government have fought over water distribution for decades. The share of water between the country’s provinces is regulated by the Water Apportionment Accord. However, the government of Sindh has said that this does not guarantee a minimum flow of river water through the province.

Riaz Haq said...

fish-farming – aqua-culture
in the heart of the desert


https://www.tharfoundation.org/sdg/

Followed by the successful Bio-saline agriculture at Thar Block II, the Thar Foundation has initiated breeding fish in the man-made Gorano Reservoir, where brackish and saline ground water extracted from the depth of 180 m, containing 5000 ppm is stored.

About 7 species of fish including Morakhi (Mrigal Carp), Rohu (Labea Rohita), Theli, Kuriro, Gulfam, African Catfish, and Dangri (Barramundi) are being raised in the project. Around 100,000 small fishes of these species were released, as seeds, at the outset of the project which have now been grown into fully mature fish. The fish raised at Gorano are purely organic with no artificial chemical used at any point of breeding and has been declared fit for human consumption by medical laboratories. The extension plan has already been launched under “Desert Fisheries Initiative” in collaboration with Livestock and Fisheries Department, Government of Sindh where 200,000 seeds have been released in May 2019. In the first year, 12,000 KGs of fish catch was cultivated. The fish catch is distributed to local villages free of cost every year. The fish farmed at the reservoir will be used as a source of livelihood as well as nutrition for the local population specially the students of Thar Foundation schools.

Riaz Haq said...

A Precedent for the future Nurtures drought resistance in community Round-the-year yields

http://www.pacadengg.org/pdf/Programmes/13th%20Symposium:%20Presentation%204.%20Engr.%20Nadeem%20Arif%20-%20%20Recycling%20of%20Water%20from%20Thar%20Coal%20Mines.pdf

Possible Effluent Reuse Options
Opportunity for Biosaline Agriculture
 15 Indigenous crops successfully
harvested, including fodder
species.
 25% of irrigated land in Pakistan is
affected by high salinity.
 Fish farming in Gorano Dam is
also underway.
Bio Saline Pilot Program, Block II
5000 – 6000 TDS Brackish Water
from Mine Dewatering
41
Well Field Development
 Despite an arid environment with low rainfall, large volumes of
groundwater can potentially be abstracted. This has been proven by the
dewatering volumes to be abstracted from the regions adjoining the main
mining areas.
 Although this water is mostly from deeper aquifers with moderate to high
salt content, it is an option to develop a well field in the north-west of the
Thar Coal Mining area, for supply to the mining blocks.
 The abstraction of water north-west of the developed coalfield will also
potentially aid the mining owners in underground water management and
reduce the amount of water to be abstracted on site. The development of
a water supply well field is however something that needs further
investigation and modelling.

Riaz Haq said...

Remarkable development with miraculous achievement and boon for Thar - Pakistan Today


https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2021/03/15/remarkable-development-with-miraculous-achievement-and-boon-for-thar/


The government of Pakistan has taken indispensable initiatives to covert Thar as a major economic zone for the major foreign direct investment and projection economic and industrial activities. It is mandatory to mention that the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) is fervently engaged in coal mining and its power generation plants have been successfully adding 660 Mega Walt(MW) coal-generated energy in the national grid. whereas 1320 MW will be added to the national grid by Sino Sindh Resource Private Limited ( SSRL). There are two under construction power plants of Thal Nova and Hubco Thar Energy limited of 330 MW each and they will also add their power to the national grid by 2020. Hence, it won’t be incorrect to assume that Thar will change Pakistan.

It is meritorious to mention that Sindh Government has taken praiseworthy and remarkable initiatives to facilitate and encourage the investment and industrialisation in the Tharparkar district with vivid infrastructural development such as a widespread network of well-constructed roads, construction of the 42 small dams, water carrier pipelines, dam for the reservoir of rainwater in Tharparkar district, establishment of the Mai Bhakhtawar airport, Establishment of NED University Campus, schools by Engro with the collaboration of TCF and the start of the state of the art institutions of heart diseases the institute of Cardiovascular Diseases( NICVD) and several other projects.

The Sindh government has made a remarkable initiative on constructing 42 small dams in Thar. The construction of 23 dams has successfully completed and inaugurated by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and he showed an eager interest in the completion of the remaining 11 small dams will be completed by 2022. The initiative of the construction of small dams will not only provide fresh drinking water to 87 villages but will irrigate 85000 acres of land. At present constructed 23 dams have immensely contributed to the irrigation of the hundred acres of land with bumper crops of wheat, Onions, Garlic, Oats, Gawaar, and other crops which is indeed a miraculous achievement of the Sindh government for the prosperity of the People that was the vision of Mohtrama Shaheed Banzeer Bhutto and Bilawal Bhutto which coming to happen as an undeniable reality.

Riaz Haq said...

New zinc-fortified wheat set for global expansion

The improved varieties of so-called biofortified wheat are being rolled out with the help of seed company partners in countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, and Bolivia.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2295107/new-zinc-fortified-wheat-set-for-global-expansion-to-combat-malnutrition

Scientists at a leading global grains research institute expect to sharply ramp up new wheat varieties enriched with zinc that can boost the essential mineral for millions of poor people with deficient diets, the institute's head told Reuters.

Martin Kropff, director-general of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), said he expects the newly-developed high-zinc wheat to make up at least 80% of varieties distributed worldwide over the next ten years, up from about 9% currently.

The Mexico-based institute's research focuses on boosting yields, and livelihoods, of the world's poorest farmers while also addressing specific challenges posed by climate change, including higher temperatures, less rainfall and constantly mutating plant diseases.

US researchers find way to read sealed historic letters

The improved varieties of so-called biofortified wheat are being rolled out with the help of seed company partners in countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, and Bolivia.

Kropff said Asian giant China may also begin adopting the fortified wheat varieties this year.

Over the next decade, he said he expects nearly all newly deployed wheat varieties to be nutritionally improved, noting that the high-zinc varieties were developed by traditional breeding techniques instead of research based on genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

"This is something that is really starting in a big way this year," said Kropff, who also pointed to CIMMYT-developed zinc-enhanced corn that was introduced in Colombia over the past two years.

"I'm super proud of this," he added, touting the seeds ability to dent malnutrition via one of the world's grains staples.

The dramatic expansion of the new wheat varieties, which has not been previously reported, holds the promise of improving diets that lack essential minerals like zinc and iron, used to fight off viruses and move oxygen throughout the body.

Zinc deficiency, in particular, is one of the main causes of malnutrition globally and estimated to afflict more than 2 billion people.

CIMMYT scientists, with a research budget last year of $120 million, have developed about 70% of wheat varieties currently planted globally as well as about half of the world's corn, or maize, varieties.

The vast majority of CIMMYT's research is non-GMO.

Chinese scientists develop gene therapy which could delay ageing

The institute was founded by 1970 Nobel peace prize winner Norman Borlaug and runs research projects in some 50 countries. It has attracted funding from the US and British governments, among others, as well as billionaires like Bill Gates and Carlos Slim.

'FIRST OF ITS KIND' CORN

Kropff also cited three recently-developed CIMMYT corn varieties that are resistant to Fall Armyworm (FAW), an insect that has caused major damage to crops in both Africa and Asia, that were bred in Kenya with the help of CIMMYT's maize seed bank in Mexico, the world's largest.

"Like people, (the worms) like maize as well, but they eat the leaves and also the grains and it's really terrible," said Kropff.

The new varieties will be distributed over the next few months for performance trials in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, according to CIMMYT officials.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan: A win-win thanks to flatbread

https://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/pakistan-win-win-thanks-flatbread

More than half of the women and children in Pakistan lack adequate levels of essential micronutrients such as iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin D. Poor nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in childhood have profound effects on immunity, growth and cognitive development.

WFP’s Chakki project aims to combat malnutrition and stunting (lower height for age), by targeting the small-scale local mills where most people buy their flour. People like Tahir have learnt how to add micro-nutrients (iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B12) that are essential to good nutrition, especially in pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and adolescents.

Talking about his customers, Tahir says: “Many are highly educated people, so they quickly understand that the small price increase of 6 PKR (equivalent to US$0.04) per 20 kg is worth it. I spend a little longer convincing sceptics who are not familiar with the positive impact fortified flour will have on their diet. However, they usually decide to give it a try when they learn about the benefits, and they end up coming back to purchase more.”

Just a few steps away from Tahir’s mill lies local meeting spot Quetta Akbar Café and Hotel. After hearing from Tahir about the value of using fortified flour, owner Anwar Khan shifted to using fortified flour too. The price of one chapati increased from 12 to 15 PKR, equivalent to a US$ 0.02 increase, but customer feedback on taste and texture is very positive. Some also mention that the bread stays softer for longer. Since May this year, posters placed on the café's walls educate customers about the added value of using fortified flour. And both Tahir and Anwar enjoy talking to people about fortification and getting feedback.

------------------


ISLAMABAD – The National Fortification Alliance (NFA) of Pakistan, with technical support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and funding from the Australian Government launched a pilot project to fight malnutrition by fortifying wheat flour in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. This project will support chakkis (small-scale grinders) to mill flour that is rich in micronutrients that are key to keeping families healthy.



https://www.wfp.org/news/national-fortification-alliance-and-world-food-programme-launch-pilot-project-fortify-wheat



“Given the extent of the consumption of wheat from chakkis, this project will provide a firm basis to reach nutritionally vulnerable populations and provide them with essential nutrients, which is another step WFP is taking to curb malnutrition in Pakistan,” said WFP Country Representative, Finbarr Curran at the launch of this programme today.

Dr. Baseer Achakzai from the National Fortification Alliance, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination also participated in the launch.

Almost half of Pakistan’s population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies which can lead to poor child growth, anaemia and many other health issues. Reducing these deficiencies is a high priority for the Government of Pakistan.