Healthier Sorghum for Africa

Posted by on May 12th, 2011 | 0 Comments »

A $4 million grant will soon bring healthier sorghum to underserved communities in Africa.  The grant, a partnership between the Howard G. Buffett Foundation,  The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and GHI-founding member DuPont, will help launch the development of biofortified sorghum, a more nutritious and digestible sorghum.

“We are very pleased to facilitate the funding of this valuable project in order to advance its development,” said Paul Anderson, Executive Director, Office of International Programs, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.  “We have a strong interest in seeing sorghum make a greater contribution to the health and livelihood of African farmers.”

A staple of the African diet, sorghum is a naturally drought tolerant cereal that provides calories and essential nutrients to those who live in drought-prone areas of Africa.  In addition to improved nutrition, biofortified sorghum will be distributed to underserved communities across Africa at a low cost to growers.

Biofortified sorghum provides increased zinc, pro-vitamin A levels, and iron bioavailability through phytate reduction, as well as improved protein digestibility, all of which are key nutrients and micronutrients that aid in child development and reduce the rates of diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and respiratory tract infections.

“Improving the nutrition of this staple crop has the potential to change the lives of more than 300 million Africans,” said Howard G. Buffett, president of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.  “I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of malnutrition.  I have a personal commitment to see that healthier sorghum gets to the people in Africa.”

For more information, please go to DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred Media Center.

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