Date of release: Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hon GradDr. Howarth Bouis, founder and director of the HarvestPlus programme, is to be honoured by the university today (Thursday 27 July).

In a ceremony at Rochester Cathedral, he will receive the degree of Honorary Doctor of Science (HonDSc). This accolade recognises his dedication, commitment and pioneering work to end global "hidden hunger" through biofortification, which is the conventional breeding of crops with higher levels of essential micronutrients.

Dr. Bouis was awarded the 2016 World Food Prize (the Nobel Prize of Food) for his work in biofortification. Alongside colleagues from the International Potato Centre, Dr. Bouis has used the sweet potato and other staple crops to improve the health of over 25 million people.

Dr. Bouis pioneered the concept of biofortification in the early 1990s and has devoted his entire career to turning this idea into a global movement to reach smallholder farming families globally.

The university's Natural Resources Institute has collaborated with HarvestPlus since 2006, and they were key partners in the "Reaching End Users" project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This project was a pivotal piece of work which demonstrated the nutrition of young children and women of child-bearing age could be improved by consuming biofortified crops such as orange fleshed sweet potatoes, high iron beans and iron rich pearl millet.

This award recognises Howarth's commitment to improving the nutritional quality of food crops and his dedication to improve nutrition throughout the world. He has made a significant contribution to global health.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Howarth Bouis