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Rwanda's top musicians promoting better nutrition with a song
Iron Bean Photos: http://bit.ly/IronBeanPhotos
The song extols the nutritional benefits of new high-iron beans that are now available in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. Almost 40 percent of children in Rwanda do not get enough iron in their diets. In severe cases, this can lower their IQs and learning capacity, resistance to disease, and energy levels. Beans are a traditional staple food and eaten every day. These new iron beans contain 15 percent more iron than ordinary beans, and can provide women and children with almost half their daily iron needs. They also yield twice the harvest of ordinary beans, increasing incomes for farmers.
More than 700,000 Rwandan farmers are growing and eating these nutritious beans, first released by the Rwandan Government in 2011. "We’ve had tremendous success so far in getting these beans out, but we wanted to reach a much wider audience across the country,” said Lister Katsvairo, who heads the Rwanda Office of HarvestPlus, a global program to improve nutrition. "These iron beans are now making their way into urban markets, so we are launching a campaign to increase consumer awareness. We worked with Rwanda’s top musicians, who cater to all musical tastes including Afro-pop, rap and R&B. Who better to spread this message of how beans can improve nutrition and health?".
The campaign has taken musicians King James, Miss Jojo, Riderman, Tom Close, and Urban Boyz on a series of roadshows across the country where they have performed live for more than 30,000 people. The road shows included exhibitions and sales of iron bean seeds.
Please visit www.harvestplus.org for more information.
“We are bringing good news for all Rwandans that will change their lives once they start listening to the song, because it raises their knowledge about the benefits of growing and eating these high-iron beans. We hope that will change the lives of a lot of people in Rwanda,” said King James, an R&B artist.
“This was a chance for us to teach people how to stay healthy by eating what is necessary for their bodies—we came together to make sure that we say goodbye to malnutrition,” said Rwandan rapper Riderman.
Rwanda was the first country in Africa to officially launch iron beans developed through conventional breeding. HarvestPlus works with many partners to deploy iron beans, including the Rwanda Agriculture Board with whom they co-produced this video. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is also partner in developing more varieties of beans even richer in iron. Iron beans are now also being distributed to several hundred thousand farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of HarvestPlus.
Vidushi Sinha, HarvestPlus. Washington DC. email@example.com Tel: +1 2028624686
Laetitia Umulisa, HarvestPlus, Rwanda firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: +250 788 417 833
More about HarvestPlus
HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) leads a global effort to improve nutrition and public health by developing and deploying staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These are cassava, maize, and orange sweet potato that provide more vitamin A; beans and pearl millet that provide more iron; and rice and wheat that provide more zinc. We work with public and private sector partners in more than 40 countries. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR (http://www.cgiar.org) Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) (http://www.a4nh.cgiar.org). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centres in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centres – the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (http://ciat.cgiar.org) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (http://www.ifpri.org).
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