Biofortification is, in essence, an agricultural intervention that depends for its success on farmers’ willingness to grow the biofortified crops and on consumers’ willingness to pay for them. The principle of its effectiveness can be established through RCTs at a local level and, more generally, from meta-analyses of these trials. But if biofortification is to be seen to make a difference at a population level, for example to those indicators of child health (e.g. the prevalence of stunting) proposed to determine whether the UN Sustainable Development Goals are being met, then more data and different methods of analysis are needed. The paper will focus on these issues and will draw on the way evidence has been constructed for another agricultural intervention – the introduction of genetically engineered cotton in India – to suggest ways forward.
Speaker: Ian Plewis - University of Manchester, United Kingdom