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Sweet potato Vitamin A research emerges winner

Four scientists have won the 2016 World Food Prize for enriching sweet potatoes, resulting in health benefits for people.

Orange fleshed sweet potato

The scientists won the prize for being 'the single most example of biofortification', resulting in Vitamin A-boosted produce.

The science researchers have won a prize of 250,000 dollars to be presented to them at a ceremony in Iowa, U.S.A on Thursday, October 13, 2016.

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Three of the winners, Drs Maria Andrade, Robert Mwanga and Jan Low of the CGIAR International Potato Center - have had their efforts on developing orange fleshed and vitamin fortified potato recognised.

The fourth winner, Dr Howard Bouis, founder of HarvestPlus at the International Food Policy Research Institute, has similarly been honoured for his 25 years of work to ensure biofortification was developed into an international plant breeding strategy in more than 40 countries.

USAID administrator, Gayle Smith while announcing this year's winners said: "These four extraordinary World Food Prize Laureates have proven that science matters, and that when matched with dedication, it can change people's lives."

In developing countries, Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is one of the most harmful forms of malnutrition. Some of the effects of VAD are blindness, stunted growth,low immunity and increased mortality.

More than 140 million children in 118 countries and more than seven million pregnant women are affected by this scrouge.

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