The ABS Project

The ABS project seeks to develop a more nutritious and easily digestible sorghum variety that contains increased levels of essential amino acids, especially lysine, increased levels of Vitamins A and more available iron and zinc.  The success of the Project could improve the health of a target 300 million people who depend on sorghum as a staple food in Africa.

Since the Project started, many African nations have reaffirmed the need to have comprehensive national nutrition programs.  The Project notes that industrial and conventional fortification has made a big dent to the challenge of malnutrition, but new developments in biotechnology provide exciting opportunities in the fight against malnutrition.  Through biotechnology, plants can create and store their own vitamins and nutrients, thus easily providing nutrition to the nutritionally-deprived people and improving their quality of life and economic potential.  The ABS project believe that the challenge is so serious, every weapon in the arsenal should be used to make a more significant and sustainable impact in fighting malnutrition.

Africa Harvest Biotechnology Foundation International (Africa Harvest) is the lead institution in the Africa Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) project. Through a consortium structure, it partnered with DuPont through its business Pioneer Hi-Bred, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ( ICRISAT) , the University Of Pretoria, the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley), the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) and the West African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD).

The ABS consortium is a strategic alliance that leverages the best of public, private and academic sectors to deliver an effective product that fights malnutrition in the African. The consortium has achieved and continues to contribute to the advancement of science on the continent, building valuable knowledge in sorghum research, establishing scientific infrastructure, building scientific capacity by training African scientists and contributing to a better understanding of biotechnology issues in Africa through the public acceptance and communication program.

Roles of consortium members in the ABS Project

Technology Development

Pioneer

UC Berkeley

CSIR

Product Development

ICRISAT

University of Pretoria

ARC

KARI

INERA

IAR

Enabling Environment & Product Distribution

Africa Harvest

AATF

CORAF

 

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