Inside the BPI: Subindices

The production subindex measures the intensity of production of a biofortifiable crop in a country. It is composed of:

  • Share of cultivated land area dedicated to the crop cultivation: The relative importance of the crop in the agricultural sector of a country.
  • Per capita area harvested: The intensity of land allocated to a crop in relation to labor (i.e., factor intensity).
  • Export share: The percentage of national production of the crop that gets exported (correction factor).

There are seven production subindices—one per biofortifiable crop.

The consumption subindex measures the intensity of consumption of a crop in a country. The main variable that goes into the subindex is crop consumption per capita per year. An import share variable (or correction factor) ensures that the level of country consumption being measured is mainly supplied from domestic production, rather than imports. There are seven consumption subindices—one per biofortifiable crop.

The micronutrient deficiency subindex measures the prevalence of each micronutrient deficiency in a country. The variables used for each micronutrient’s subindex reflect the prevalence and consequences of the deficiency if uncorrected.


  • Proportion of preschool-age children with low hemoglobin.
  • Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to iron deficiency anemia.

Vitamin A:

  • Proportion of preschool-age children with low serum retinol.
  • Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to vitamin A deficiency.


  • Percentage of population at risk of inadequate zinc intake.
  • Prevalence of stunting among children under five.

HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals, and providing global leadership on biofortification evidence and technology. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. HarvestPlus is based at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and collaborates with multiple CGIAR centers and partner organizations. HarvestPlus’ principal donors are the UK Government; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the U.S. Government's Feed the Future initiative; the European Commission; the Government of Canada and donors to A4NH. HarvestPlus is also supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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