IITA works to improve the nutritional content of staple crops to make sure that the people who rely on them for food can get enough of a range of nutrients.
Maize, cassava and soybean for health
IITA is working to improve the nutritional profile of cassava and maize, and encourage the consumption of soybean in sub-Saharan Africa.
IITA and partners have developed cassava and maize varieties with higher beta-carotene content that helps tackle vitamin A deficiency. These varieties have been officially released in Nigeria. Our improved maize varieties have also accelerated maize productivity in West and Central Africa.
IITA has launched a project to combat malnutrition in Nigeria by encouraging soybean production and its dietary consumption. IITA food technologists have developed a wide range of soybean food products and up to 98% of households in some Nigerian communities have started eating soybean foods leading to better nutrition and ultimately better health.
Malnutrition, particularly protein deficiency, is prevalent in many parts of Africa as animal protein is very expensive. Consisting of more than 36% protein, soybean provides a cheap, high quality source of protein that is comparable to animal products.