To support development of nutritious crop cultivars across the globe through biofortification, ICRISAT and CGIAR’s HarvestPlus opened up their x-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing facilities through a recently launched online platform.
The platform will make available existing and new XRF analyzers at ICRISAT for determining iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), calcium (Ca) and other minerals in whole grain samples. XRF, which is widely used in mining, was first introduced for agriculture in India by ICRISAT in 2011. The online platform aims to automate access to testing facilities and obtaining results.
“What is the relationship between soil availability of iron and zinc, and the ability of germplasm to biofortify micronutrients and make them bio-available? The full connection has to be made between what is happening in the field and what is being consumed,” said Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT, during the launch of the platform. He underscored the importance of biofortification for India at a time when the Indian government plans to launch a country-wide program to strongly link agriculture and nutrition with a focus on native crops.