Micronutrients – Government Aid, and Boron

Dec 29, 2020 | MICRONUTRIENTS, FOOD SECURITY

Planet Boron

GOVERNMENT AID AND INITIATIVES

Governments have been paying attention to scientific research to fulfil the needs of every individual’s diet and for food supply via agricultural channels. The government has taken many initiatives to ensure the availability of micronutrients in our diet and products. With scientific research, we now have a better understanding of how important these nutrients are to our health and wellness! The importance of micronutrients for a healthy life has been brought to light with many new initiatives and research being carried out by governments worldwide. Boron has a significant role to play in this regard.

To fulfil the requirement of the micronutrients, the government is taking many initiatives along with scientific research to investigate these essential needs that plants need for their healthy development.  In addition, it also helps in improving soil quality by nitrogen fixation, which is the process of converting atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia.

The long-term goal is for rural people to live healthy lives by addressing malnutrition from all angles: prevention through diverse food consumption, alleviation through micronutrient supplementation, and correction of deficiencies along with adding value to everything nutritionally for the overall growth of human resources and the economy.

MICRONUTRIENTS AND FOOD SECURITY

Household food security & community nutrition is an important branch in government functioning that has gained importance in recent years due to the need for an increased awareness of the role micronutrients play. Split applications or fertilizers can be Micronutrients.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies have a significant impact on human welfare and on the economic development of communities and nations hence this branch of government is very important in ensuring food security.

government strategies regarding this include the activities of the Ministry for Rural Development and its partners, such as the Boron Management Program (BMP), which was developed in cooperation with GTZ. These strategies focus on improving access to and availability and consumption of vitamin- and mineral-rich foods.

Three major intervention strategies are available for the control of micronutrient malnutrition:

  1. Supplementation of the specific micronutrients; which includes the provision of micronutrients in an easily absorbable form through fortification, added to foods or giving them directly as dietary supplements. It also includes improving the quality and quantity of diverse food items consumed daily so that they contain adequate quantities of all essential micronutrients including boron. This strategy includes improving soil fertility and providing other agricultural perks such as irrigation, fertilizers, and crop rotation along with changing the dietary habits of those who are deficient in micronutrients so that they consume a varied diet with an adequate intake of protein, minerals, and vitamins.
  2. Fortification of foods with micronutrients; which is known as the process of biofortification, that is, adding micronutrients to foods to improve their nutritional value.
  3. Horticulture intervention; refers to the cultivation and maintenance of plants for the provision of micronutrients in agriculture which is a good way to prevent malnutrition among human beings, as well as animals and plants. The production of crops like maize, soybean (or soya), wheat, or rice depends on fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium that are eventually converted to increase production and nutrition education to ensure regular consumption of micronutrient-rich foods by the target population.

Science has led to the discovery of one such initiative to tackle the problem of food scarcity by the use of biofortification.

BIOFORTIFICATION

Biofortification is the idea of breeding crops to increase their nutritional value and has gained significance in recent times due to its ability to tackle micronutrient deficiency. To cope up with the scientific research on micronutrients, the government has come up with several initiatives and programs that are dedicated to providing every individual’s needs of micronutrients. Due to such efforts made by our government, more people have become aware of the importance of micronutrients. This can be done either through conventional selective breeding or through genetic engineering. It may include increasing the concentration in crops of micronutrients such as boron.

WHAT MICRONUTRIENTS OFFER BENEFITS

A micronutrient is defined as a chemical element or substance required in trace amounts for the normal growth and development of living organisms. They’re labeled “micro” because they are needed in small amounts. Humans must obtain micronutrients from food since your body cannot produce vitamins and minerals for the most part. That’s why they’re also referred to as essential nutrients. Micronutrients are an integral part of a healthy diet. 

Vitamins and minerals are vital for supporting key functions in your body. Vitamins are organic compounds made by plants and animals which can be broken down by heat, acid, or air. On the other hand, minerals are inorganic, exist in soil or water, and cannot be broken down. When you eat, you consume the vitamins that plants and animals created or the minerals that they absorbed. Hence, all of the processes of intake of the micronutrients in interlinked among organisms.

Every food that you take has different amounts of micronutrients, so it is preferred to have a variety of foods in your diet. An adequate intake of all micronutrients is necessary for optimal health, as each vitamin and mineral has a specific role in your body and is vital for growth, immune function, brain development, and many other important functions.

Micronutrients play a central part in metabolism and the maintenance of tissue function. An adequate intake, therefore, is necessary, but the provision of excess supplements to people who do not need them may be harmful and can cause severe intoxication.  Micronutrient toxicities are less common than deficiencies. They are most likely to occur with large doses of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and, K since these nutrients can be stored in your liver and fatty tissues. They cannot be excreted from your body like water-soluble vitamins. In addition, we know that an increased intake of certain micronutrients causes health issues such as obesity which then needs to be controlled by diet.

The best way to provide micronutrients is through natural, whole foods that are rich in nutrients and healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, leafy greens, salmon, etc. Foods like broccoli not only contain boron but also many other essential micronutrients we need for a healthy life!

BORON: ESSENTIAL MICRONUTRIENT

Boron is a micronutrient that requires micromanagement for its effective impact. Though it is seen to have major involvement in plant growth and agriculture, it is also an essential element required for animal and human growth. It is a dynamic micronutrient found in trace amounts in human and animal physiology, which is also related by transferring from the plant and animal diets, hence actively moving around in the ecosystem. It can affect the metabolism or utilization of numerous other substances involved in life processes.

BORON: CROPS AND AGRICULTURE

  • Boron is a micronutrient found primarily in the soil, as it has an essential influence on plant growth as it is an essential nutrient for plants to thrive because it helps regulate plant cell wall production which also helps regulate the release of minerals from storage in cells. 
  • Boron is critical to growth and health, especially for all crops.
  • It is a component of plant cell walls and reproductive structures. 
  • Boron can be found in soil solution, adsorbed on soil surfaces, organic matter, and as part of the mineralogy of soils.
  • Boron is an important micronutrient that supports plant growth and health. Not only is boron found in plants, but it’s also found in the soil and we need to use government initiatives for a better life. 
  • Boron deficiency can lead to stunted growth and weakened immune systems which make micronutrients an essential part of everyday living and affects vegetative and reproductive growth of plants, resulting in inhibition of cell expansion, death of meristem, and reduced fertility.
  • As we know, boron is a micronutrient critical to the growth and health of all crops, it is a mobile nutrient, meaning that it is prone to movement within the soil. Boron is seen to have the power to shape the morphological processes in plants by affecting cell division, root growth, and plant metabolism.
  • Because it is required in small amounts, delivering boron to a crop with even distribution is a challenge. Traditionally, small quantities of boron fertilizer are blended with P and K products and spread in a single application. This results in uneven applications and “hot spots” of boron within the soil that are prone to leaching. The best way to deliver boron nutrition is to add a soil-applied fertilizer that contains small quantities of boron and spreads the nutrient evenly across the field. 
  • Moisture and soil type plays a significant role in nutrient uptake of boron. Boron moves with water movement in the soil (mass flow), so coarse-textured soils allow for higher rates of movement.
  • Split applications of fertilizer for crops such as alfalfa (high demand for potassium and boron) may also improve yield.
  • Crop rotations may be beneficial for nutrient uptake and utilization of boron. 
  • Crops with a deeper root structure can pull mobile nutrients, such as boron, from deeper in the rooting zone. Grasses, such as corn and wheat, have shallower fibrous root systems, while the taproot systems of alfalfa and sugar beets go much deeper.

BORON AND HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY

  • Boron is a dynamic trace element that has a direct impact on metabolism.
  • It also affects the functions and composition of various body systems such as the brain, skeleton, and immune system. It proves to be a perk for the body if taken in adequate amounts.
  • It is usually maintained in the body’s bloodstream in the required amount as it is actively excreted in urine and maintains its necessary amount itself.
  • Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts are the main sources of boron to get into the human body and holds nutritional importance. Sugar is the primary dietary source of micronutrients, including boron.
  • Boron deficiency might affect brain function by reducing mental alertness and impairing executive brain function, though it is not yet researched in-depth about the impact of boron deficiency on the human body.
Planet Boron

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