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Resource August 6, 2014

Meet the Journalist: Roger Thurow Reports on the 1,000 Days


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The story of 1,000 days–the vital period from the beginning of a woman's pregnancy to her child's...

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Lunchtime in northern Uganda. A mother and her child enjoy sweet potatoes rich in Vitamin A and beans with higher iron content. Image by Roger Thurow. Uganda, 2014.

Good nutrition is vital in the 1,000 Days, the time from when a woman becomes pregnant to the second birthday of her child. It is the most critical time for a child's physical and cognitive development.

In rural northern Uganda, many pregnant women and children suffer from micro-nutrient deficiencies. Their diets lack important vitamins and minerals necessary for the growth of the child's body and brain.

A project called Harvest Plus seeks to remedy this by fortifying staple crops. Through breeding, scientists increase the vitamins and minerals found in the crops. In northern Uganda, the mothers, who are smallholder farmers, are growing orange-flesh sweet potatoes rich in Vitamin A and a bean variety with higher iron levels.

In this Meet-the-Journalist video, Roger Thurow explores this innovation of biofortification and how mothers are enlisting the crops they grow in the fight against malnutrition.


Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


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