Biotech Updates

Scientists Develop Biofortified Sorghum for Africa

March 12, 2014

Scientists from Dupont successfully developed biofortified sorghum which was intended to contribute to food and nutrition security most especially for people from Africa.

Dupont Pioneer scientists and other researchers from the U.S. and Africa are currently working to produce improved sorghum varieties enriched with vitamin A precursor, iron, and zinc through plant breeding or modern biotechnology techniques. These efforts are part of the African Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) initiative which aims to benefit millions of Africans. Sorghum is one of the staple crops in the continent but it is lacking key nutrients such as vitamin A. Up to 500,000 children in Africa become blind due to vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and about 600,000 women die from childbirth-related causes, many from complications that could be reduced through healthy diets containing of vitamin A.

DuPont recently won the ‘Patents for Humanity' Award from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its willingness to share its intellectual property that has resulted in revolutionary research to strengthen the nutritional profile of sorghum and help improve public health in target African countries.