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DuPont Pioneer “Cultivating Hope” in Africa by Strengthening the Nutrition of Sorghum


Marc Albertsen, DuPont Pioneer Research Director and Dr. Florence Wambugu, Africa Harvest CEO

Micronutrient deficiency, often called "hidden hunger," is not obvious until too late - when there is permanent damage that leads to a lifetime of consequences.

In Africa, up to half a million children become blind from Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) with increased risk of cognitive impairment, disease and death from severe infections. Furthermore, nearly 600,000 women die from childbirth-related causes, many from complications that could be reduced through more vitamin A in their diet.

In response to significant health and agriculture challenges, DuPont Pioneer is contributing its capabilities in scientific innovation, plant genetics and agricultural systems to the African Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) initiative. Established in 2005, ABS is a public private partnership that is actively working to help improve nutrition for the nearly 300 million people in Africa who depend on sorghum, but who do not have access to another staple that provides the essential nutrients that sorghum lacks.

The ABS initiative demonstrates how cutting edge science and inclusive innovation are helping to solve global challenges through local solutions. ABS is enhancing the nutritional quality of sorghum through biofortification, with an immediate target of increased and stabilized levels of pro-vitamin A, iron and zinc.

Click HERE to view the ABS mini-documentary.

While DuPont contributes expertise, as well as monetary, in-kind and capacity building support, organizations such as Africa Harvest and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization play critical roles in this humanitarian effort.

After three successful years, Horizons (in association with DuPont) began its fourth season in May. The ABS mini documentary will also air Dec. 18 on Bloomberg and further expose audiences its efforts to help break the poverty, hunger and malnutrition cycle while promoting agricultural innovation in target countries in Africa.