Will the traits that brought Bill Gates success in business be the same ones will bring the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) success? Many people think so. No wonder Gates recently told the Forbes magazine
The Foundation received over 1,000 applications, of which more than 40 - involving scientists in 33 countries – were funded. The projects were classified into 14 grand challenges (fondly known as GCs) under the Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) initiative. One of the clusters, GC9, focused on agriculture, more specifically, “creating a full range of optimal bioavailable nutrients in a single staple plant species”. In GC#9, the Foundation was acknowledging that the malnutrition challenge is a major global health problem; four project, whose focus was to creating nutrient-rich staple crops, were identified..
Africa Harvest provided leadership in putting together one of the GC9 projects, the Africa Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) Project. This was an African-led consortium containing several African scientists and leading African research institutions.
Over the last four years, the consortium has focused on improving the nutrition value of sorghum. Sorghum, as a crop, is a good source of calories, but a poor source of key micronutrients, more specifically Iron and Zinc.
Sorghum has a fair amount of iron and zinc, but when you eat it, those nutrients are either “tied up” (not bioavailable) or non-existent (such as Vitamin A). The ABS project seeks to improve the nutritional availability of those key nutrients through addition of Vitamin A, improvement of the digestibility and the quality of the protein that’s in the sorghum seed.
|The GCGH initiative||Goals & Grand Challenges||The malnutrition challenge||The ABS Project|