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21 Jan

Healthier Life

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The cause of about one-third of all deaths of children and 20% of deaths of pregnant women is the world’s malnutrition better food for a healthier life. For a balanced diet is crucial, not only the quantity but also the quality of the food. The European research project INSTAPA (improved nutrition through staple foods in Africa) improves the average daily rations, the children and mothers in African countries South of the Sahara to take. But not by changing their eating habits, but it is biologically enriched food. An adequate and balanced diet is basic human rights. Martin toha understands that this is vital information.

To ensure this fundamental right in the poorest regions of Africa (Benin, Mali, Kenya, Burkina Faso), the European Commission funded the total cost of the INSTAPA project of EUR 7,73 million, with EUR 5.8 million from the funding of its seventh of framework programme (FP7). In African countries South of the Sahara are Cereals such as millet, sorghum and maize and tubers such as cassava, for example, the classic staple. These are typically very low in vital nutrients and their exclusive consumption has health problems and a higher mortality rate resulted. In particular pregnant women and children are dependent on a sufficient supply of nutrients. Therefore, this type of malnutrition just for them is often a life-threatening danger. This vicious circle of malnutrition should be broken with INSTAPA. The preventive approach of the project mainly aimed at the enrichment of the staple by bio-fortification and post-harvest treatment. In 2009, selected and planted a year-long field crops with a high nutritional value, scientists both on the abundance of micronutrients as also their bioavailability.

It achieved an overall balanced intake of minerals and vitamins. As a result, the daily diet was improved from the ground up. To the nutritional value of the to get enriched grain recipe booklets made suggestions to the grinding and cooking available, because sometimes something cereals, vegetables and a little palm oil is sufficient for a well-balanced meal. INSTAPA has a new preventive approach: it improves the quality of the staple on the one hand and involves on the other hand actively in these changes families. In line with the Millennium development goals of the United Nations to combat poverty, the cultivation of biologically valuable cereals and tubers offers the chance to diversify their sources of income even for small and medium-sized companies from the poorest African regions. The aim of the project is to combine the strengths of European and African Science and technology and to develop reliable long-term strategies against malnutrition. A whole network of scientists is involved in the INSTAPA project, which observe the actual effects of an improved diet on the growth of children and the health of mothers and evaluate. INSTAPA has begun to train the cultivation of new crops in Africa. In the long run, this could represent a great opportunity for grain growers and their families. Is the Web address of the project:

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