The International Potato Center salutes the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates Drs. Jan Low, Maria Andrade, and Robert Mwanga of the International Potato Center (CIP) and Howarth Bouis of Harvest Plus for their work on biofortified crops to reduce hidden hunger and specifically vitamin A deficiency (VAD), one of the most pernicious forms of undernourishment in the developing world.


Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness, limits growth, weakens immunity, and increases mortality. Afflicting over 140 million preschool children in 118 countries and more than seven million pregnant women, it is the leading cause of child blindness in developing countries. Between 250,000 and 500,000 vitamin A-deficient children go blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight. VAD also weakens the immune system in under-fives, increasing their risk of dying from diarrhea, measles and malaria by 20–24 percent.


The CIP and HarvestPlus team set out to prove that the local people in Sub-Saharan Africa would accept biofortified Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) into their diets, that vitamin A deficiency could be prevented by eating it, and that countries would adopt it. In this they have succeeded. Biofortified sweetpotato is firmly on the menu of 14 countries in Africa and contributing to saving the eyesight and improving the nutrition of hundreds of thousands of children and food security of the entire family.


Achievement Jan Low

United States of America

Dr. Low’s advocacy work under the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (SPHI) has changed the image of sweetpotato as a crop of poor women to a healthy food for all. The ground-breaking two-year proof-of-concept study conducted by...

Achievement Maria Andrade

Cape Verde

Mozambique-based Maria Andrade began working on OFSP varietal selection when she released nine varieties selected from materials introduced from several countries in ..…

Achievement Robert Mwanga


Starting in 2002, Robert Mwanga successfully developed 14 new varieties of OFSP, including a variety that combined high dry matter content, high resistance to viruses and ...


Supporters of CIP's OFSP Work 2000-2015

  • AfDB: African Development Bank
  • Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • ASARECA: Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa
  • Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
  • AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • FARA Africa: Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Generation Challenge Program
  • Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT)
  • Government of Austria
  • Government of Belgium
  • Government of Mozambique
  • Government of Peru
  • GIZ with the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic, Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • GIZ on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Government of Italy
  • Government of Japan
  • Government of ODISHA
  • HarvestPlus
  • Helen Keller International
  • Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, and, Ireland's Bilateral Aid Programme (Irish Aid)
  • Natural Resouces Institute (NRI) UK
  • North Carolina State University
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • The Buffett Foundation
  • The Kilimo Trust
  • The Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

CIP is the lead center for the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), and CIP’s work related to orange sweetpotato is part of the deliverables of this program and a contribution to the achievement of the CGIAR goals in terms of poverty reduction, enhanced nutrition and food security and natural resources management, which contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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Media Coverage

New York Times - “Sweet Potato Experts Win World Food Prize” June 28, 2016.

Washington Post - “Developers of fortified food staple awarded World Food Prize” June 28, 2016.

National Geographic - “World Food Prize Winners: Why Sweet Potato Color Matters” by Tracie McMillan. June 28, 2016.

NPR - “How The Humble Orange Sweet Potato Won Researchers The World Food Prize” by Dan Charles.

ABC News - “Developers of Fortified Food Staple Awarded World Food Prize” June 28, 2016.

Reuters USA - “Sweet Potato Experts Win World Food Prize” by Isma’il Kushkush. June 28, 2016.

Daily Mail - “Developers of fortified food staple awarded World Food Prize” June 28, 2016.

CNBC Africa - “Sweet Potato Experts Win World Food Prize” June 28, 2016.

Des Moines Register - “10 Photos: 2016 World Food Prize Winners Announced” June 28, 2016.

Des Moines Register - “World Food Prize Winners Turn Food into Medicine” June 28, 2016.

FT: This is Africa:
 Let Food Fuel Africa's Development
Thomson Reuters: How we saved climate-smart seeds from the conflict in Syria
Financial Times: Agricultural growth in emerging markets is falling short of global goals
BBC News: Sweet potato Vitamin A research wins World Food Prize
Reuters: Private sector seed distribution vital for food security, World Food Prize delegates say
All Africa: Holding Back Women in Science Puts Brakes on Development
Huffington Post: A Breakthrough Year for Biofortification

Des Moines Register: World Food Prize grows tall in 30 years
Des Moines Register: International speakers slated for World Food Prize
Des Moines Register: Borlaug's dream is within reach in Africa
Des Moines Register: The view from Iowa: The fight against hunger needs all of us
Iowa Public Radio: In Historic Move, World Food Prize Honors a Four-Laureate Team
Iowa Public Radio: World Bank Leader Says Investing In Children Is Critical For All
Radio Iowa: Four to receive 2016 World Food Prize
Des Moines Register: Private-sector investment is key to combating hunger and climate change
Des Moines Register: Bayer, Monsanto argue that merger will benefit Iowa farmers
WHO TV: Food Prize goes to biofortification
Additional Coverage:
DuPont: Amb. Quinn: Race to Food Security Requires Research-Driven Innovations
Iowa Farm Bureau: Iowa farmers honor World Food Prize Week by embracing innovation, diversity to bring more food choices to hungry Iowans
Capital Public Radio: World Food Prize Laureate Digs Into Food Security
Daily Iowegian: Borlaug Fall Seminar Monday, Oct. 17
World News: World Food Prize Winner to Speak at DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College)
Maxwell School: Syracuse University: Bertini gives World Food Day Lecture at UC Davis
Chillwall: World Food Prize Breakfast
Ames Tribune: World Food Prize Laureates gather for ISU lecture
Environment Guru: Purdue launches postharvest initiative at World Food Prize meeting
Farming First: Kenneth M. Quinn: 30 Heroes for 30 Years of the World Food Prize
Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition: The Global Panel discusses its new Report at this year’s World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium
World Food Center: UC Davis students awarded top prizes for World Food Day Video Challenge
Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network: World Food Prize’s Borlaug Dialogue begins Wednesday
DMACC: World Food Prize Winner to Speak at DMACC

Farm Futures: No-till farmer from Argentina wins Kleckner Award
University of California: Rising to the challenge: World Food Day video prizes awarded
Pork Network: Iowa soybean farmers talk about sustainability during World Food Prize week
Purdue University: Purdue launches postharvest initiative at World Food Prize meeting
Quality Assurance Mag: Purdue launches postharvest initiative at World Food Prize meeting
Disaspora Messenger: Kenyan man receives Borlaug Award at World Food Prize symposium
St. John News: Area student grows plants without soil
African Times: Kenyan receives Borlaug Award at World Food Prize symposium
Thomas Rueters Foundation News: Private sector seed distribution vital for food security, World Food Prize delegates say
dtn The Progressive Farmer: Productivity and Sustainability Global Harvest Initiative Examines Down Cycle in Annual Ag Productivity Report
Feedstuffs: Purdue launches postharvest initiative PH student to attend Global Youth Institute in Des Moines
Pork Network: "Lead with your ethics--facts by themselves won't work”
Benzinga: Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and Borlaug Dialogue Attendees Celebrate New $100,000 National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences
AgriPulse: Vilsack: Embrace science to address global food security
Chicago Council: 1,000 Days at the World Food Prize
Farm Forum: Dr. Kevin Folta honored at the 2016 Borlaug CAST Communication Award Ceremony Sweet potato Vitamin A research emerges winner
Food.Mic: This award-winning sweet potato could be the answer to the world's hunger crisis
Swarajya: How The Vitamin-Enriched Sweet Potato Can Lead To Health Benefits For Millions
Food and Wine: Super Sweet Potatoes Win World Food Prize
EurekAlert: CGIAR scientists awarded the prestigious World Food Prize
National Catholic Reporter: World Food Prize winners receiving award for efforts to biofortify foods
Iowa State Daily: Congratulations to the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates
Relief Web: Feed the Future Progress Report 2016 : Growing Prosperity for a Food-Secure Future
Ag Web: Nourishment Takes Precedent in the 21st-Century Fight Against Food Insecurity
Ag Web: Thinking Outside The Ballot Box: How Your Vote Could Affect World Hunger
Ag Web: Cultivating Conversations: Dr. Kevin Folta Wins Award for Talking to Consumers about Ag
Ag Professional: Borlaug CAST Award Winner Says 'Lead With Your Ethics'

Genetic Resource Library: Kevin Folta, Borlaug CAST Communication Award winner: ‘Lead with your ethics’ 6 ways to build trust with a concerned consumer
Who TV: Borlaug Foundation Reaches Out At World Food Prize
Medical News: Four CGIAR researchers win World Food Prize for improving nutrition and health
Nacs online: Kellog to create 3 billion better days
KCRG: Borlaug Foundation reaches out at World Food Prize
Ag Web: African Development Bank Dedicated to Ending Malnutrition
Thomas Rueters Foundation: Wheat training foundation offers hope to end rural poverty
Nyasa Times: Joyce Banda earns ADB president praise, attends 2016 World Food Prize event in USA
Iowa State University: Partnerships key to solving food challenges
Agwired: 30th World Food Prize Laureates Honoured
Care2: How scientists enriched sweet potatoes to improve the health of millions
Cornell Chronicle: Symposium honors food prize winners, biofortification work
Food Ingredients 1st: World Food Prize for Sweet Potato Biofortification Scientists
DTN Progressive Farmer: Sharing Development Rights
AgWired: Bayer exec keynotes at FoodPrize16
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Tackle food insecurity with homegrown education, Food Prize delegates say
AgWired: New NAS prize for food & ag research
Farm Futures: Vilsack shares concerns about global food security

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