The importance of vitamin A and other carotenoids in controlling micronutrient based deficiencies in particular VAD has been emphasized in recent years. This has resulted into demands for availing these nutrients in forms that are easily accessible for most of the populations in micronutrient deficient areas. Specifically in Africa, various programs have been instituted to bio-fortify crops with nutrients with more emphasis being put on Vitamin A fortification. Much as advances have been made in this area, a number of programs have registered little success while others have not taken off. In this review, advances in breeding for vitamin A increments are discussed. Countries where successes have been achieved are also highlighted while efforts in a number of areas for the different staple crops have been given due emphasis. In particular, breeding strategies have been discussed, and examples of successful breeding strategies highlighted to inform future efforts. In addition, the effect of processing on retention of vitamin A in processed products has been discussed with specific recommendations on identification of crop specific processing procedures. Such procedures should be optimized before adoption to allow for minimal losses in vitamin A and other related nutrients. We conclude that much as advances have been made, specific efforts are still needed in certain staples in order to provide benefits to the African consumers.
Key Words: African staples, Carotenoids, Malnutrition, Biofortification, Retention
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