Buffett Foundation gives $4 mln for sorghum in Africa

Wed May 4, 2011 6:02pm GMT
 

* More nutritious sorghum in Africa is goal

* DuPont spearheading efforts to develop enhanced grain

KANSAS CITY, Mo. May 4 (Reuters) - Efforts to develop sorghum fortified with vitamins that will grow in Africa got a boost on Wednesday from a $4 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

The effort to enhance sorghum is spearheaded by DuPont's (DD.N: Quote) agricultural unit Pioneer Hi-Bred International, which is developing sorghum that contains more Vitamin A, zinc and iron, and has improved protein digestibility characteristics.

Howard G. Buffett is the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote) (BRKb.N: Quote).

Pioneer Hi-Bred began working on the project in 2005 in conjunction with the African Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) Consortium, an Africa-led public-private partnership.

Sorghum is a cereal comparable to corn but more drought tolerant than corn, and a staple part of the diet in parts of Africa.

"Improving the nutrition of this staple crop has the potential to change the lives of more than 300 million Africans," said Buffett in a statement.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the world's largest not-for-profit independent research institute dedicated to plant science, is also collaborating on the project. (Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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