The world may have found a new ally in the fight against anemia: the humble potato. As highlighted by Hugo Campos – roots, tubers and banana breeding lead at CGIAR – anemia is “the most rampant yet preventable childhood diseases around the world, affecting two out of every five preschoolers”, and has been a persistent challenge, especially in low-income countries.
Hugo Campos, a columnist for The Des Moines Register, write in a recent article published by the Register that more than 6% of children in the US were anemic as of 2019, yet the condition is exponentially more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. In India, around one in every two children under the age of five has anemia.
Campos points out that the International Potato Center’s (CIP) groundbreaking work in biofortifying crops has already shown promise with the orange-fleshed sweet potato. Now, researchers have set their sights on using biofortification to tackle the wicked problem of anemia with iron-enriched potatoes.
How biofortified potatoes can become a game-changer in the battle against anemia of children