The network for food biofortification in Brazil, BioFORT, launches in Portuguese the first free e-course “Introduction to biofortification” that seeks to teach about biofortification, crop improvement and hidden hunger. Enrollment is open until October 30. Upon completion, students will be able to obtain a certificate of study issued by Embrapa.
Biofortification e-learning program
Through ten modules and a total of 20 hours, students of the biofortification course will also learn about the history and objectives of the BioFort Network. A network created to promote biofortification in Brazil and led by Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, EMBRAPA. The training is fully online and begins on November 4. Registration is open!
The e-learning course is intended for employees, farmers, extension workers, teachers, researchers, students, agribusinesses, public policy makers and those interested in nutritional security and biofortification. The objective is to promote the integration of members and partners of the network to divulge the technical-scientific knowledge and experiences of farmers with the cultivation of biofortified foods.
One of the most remarkable features of the course is the “Narratives” series. A collection of videos with testimonies of partners from various regions of Brazil that connect experiences and form a large network for the exchange and construction of knowledge. The training also features explanatory videos, interviews with specialists, background brochures and validation questionnaires at the end of each module. By obtaining a minimum score of 70 students receive a certificate issued by Embrapa.
The journalist and former consultant of the Network, Raphael Santos, and the analyst of Embrapa Agroindústria de Alimentos (Rio de Janeiro, RS), Camila Stephan Marques da Silva, were in charge of preparing the text and content of the video. The material also went through the normalization of librarian Celma Rivanda Machado de Araújo and the revision of researcher André Nepomuceno Dusi. Currently, the e-learning course is managed by Embrapa’s Technology Transfer Analyst Leandro Leão.
The course will also have the presence of a moderator who will be in charge of following the evolution of the class, encouraging the use of the forum and answering questions by e-mail.
The course is currently only available in Portuguese but plans are underway to launch it in other languages.
About the biofortification course:
The training content includes ten modules, which are scheduled to be completed within the eight-week period.
The learning objectives are:
- To understand what hidden hunger is and the solutions to address it;
- Explore the concept of biofortification, excluding misconceptions about transgenics;
- Understand the relationship between biofortification and enrichment and supplementation;
- Recognize the benefits of biofortification and its health and agricultural benefits;
- Learn about Embrapa’s role in nutritional security and the history of the BioFORT Network;
- Get to know the biofortified cultivars already launched and their sensory characteristics;
- Know how to access biofortified materials;
- Identify the biofortification actions in the states;
- Know the main benefits of biofortified foods for farmers;
- Analyze the nutritional scenario in the world and expectations with biofortification.
The BioFORT Network is the set of projects responsible for food biofortification in Brazil. Its objective is to reduce malnutrition and ensure greater food and nutritional security by increasing the levels of iron, zinc and vitamin A in the diet of the poorest population, three of the world’s greatest deficiencies. In Brazil, biofortification consists of the selection and crossing of plants of the same species, generating more nutritious cultivars, focused on the improvement of basic foods, such as rice, beans, cowpea, cassava, sweet potato, corn, squash and wheat.