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A team spearheaded by the University of Nottingham and its Future Food Beacon is discovering more about the relationship between soils, crops, and nutrition deficiencies of both based on geographic location. In partnership with researchers from Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi, the group has been working on the GeoNutrition project. 

In their article published in Nature, scientists found that the nutritional quality of diets in Ethiopia and Malawi vary greatly depending on where a person lives. Through no personal fault, people might have micronutrient deficiencies based purely on location.

Dr. Dawd Gashu, one of the co-lead authors, said, “Nutritional surveillance work on the quality of staple cereals is an important part of wider public health policies to address micronutrient deficiencies and we hope that this type of work is now adopted in more countries.”

The research analyzed 3,000 cereal crop samples from farmers’ fields in Malawi and Ethiopia. Crucial nutrients including calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc all appeared in varying quantities depending on the location. This work is crucial to addressing hunger, inequality, and agricultural planning in different landscapes.

Dr. Patson Nalivata, another co-lead author, shared, “By learning more about how the nutritional quality of cereal grains is linked to soil types and landscapes, as we have in this study, we are now better able to advise farmers how to choose and cultivate more nutritious crops.”

Read more about nutrients, including 7 Ways to Keep Your Garden Soil Rich in Minerals Naturally Without Buying Products! and Southern Madagascar Faces Serious Drought Related Famine.

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