Product Development
Enabling Environment
Project Timeline
The Product Development Strategy

Within the ABS Project, the Product Development team is composed of individuals from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the University of Pretoria, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), the Agricultural Research Council for South Africa (ARC), the Burkina Faso Environmental and Agricultural Research Institute (INERA) and the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) in Nigeria.
The goal of product development is to introduce the nutritional and digestibility traits into the locally adapted African varieties through a plant breeding system known as backcrossing. This will enable different ABS sorghum varieties to be released into the best suited environment. The main product development work is scheduled to start with the second phase of funding starting in 2010.  The Product Development team has completed several activities in preparation for the forthcoming work.

Functional area


Product development roadmap

Roadmaps were completed for Kenya, Burkina Faso and South Africa.  The Nigeria roadmap will be finalized in early, Phase 2.

Sorghum Germplasm Collections

Collection of sorghum germplasm was completed in Kenya, Burkina Faso and South Africa. Similar collections will be done in Nigeria.

Variety and Location Selection

Al least 20 local sorghum varieties in Kenya, South Africa and Burkina Faso were selected for the backcrossing program. Three (3) sorghum high impact areas were selected and documented in Kenya, South Africa and Burkina Faso.  In Phase 2, variety and high impact area will be selected in Nigeria.

Gene Flow

Literature review on gene flow was completed and experiments done in Kenya and Burkina Faso.  A report by a geneflow Panel of Experts says that whereas gene flow would take place, it would not negatively affect local land races.

Confined Field Trial  Preparation

Field trial sites have been selected and prepared in South Africa, Kenya and Burkina Faso. Selection to be done in Nigeria

Contained Glasshouses

Glass houses were constructed in South Africa and Kenya. Construction is ongoing in Burkina Faso.

Genetic Markers for Breeding program

PMI markers were developed and markers for the conventional genes and varieties will be developed in the phase 2.


Given the long-term nature of the ABS Project, the product development process has a roadmap and detailed plan going to 2017/8, when the first product is expected to be available

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