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Publication | 18 June 2021

Food security, nutrition and health: implications for maize and wheat research and development

Global Food and Nutrition Security

Key messages

1. In addition to energy, maize and wheat provide other significant contributions to human nutrition that are scaled up by the volume of cereal products consumed;

2. Opportunities exist to better understand the bioactive components of maize and wheat, to quantify their nutrition and health benefits and to accelerate their improvement through plant breeding;

3. Investment in maize and wheat to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be targeted to ensure tangible nutrition benefits and reductions in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs);

4. Improving cereal food system performance in line with public health objectives requires consensus among multiple stakeholders from the public and private sectors, including plant breeders and food scientists; specialists in socioeconomics; political economy and behavioral sciences; advocacy and education groups; policy makers; and food industry strategists.