Bill and Melinda Gates are giving a boost to BioCassava Plus too

from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation webpage on BioCassava Plus


BioCassava Plus

The Need

Cassava is central to the diets of more than 250 million people in Africa. Though rich in calories, it offers limited nutritional value. As a result, many people who rely on cassava as their main source of calories are deficient in a range of nutrients, including vitamin A, iron, and protein. Enriching cassava with these three vital nutrients can improve the health of millions of children and adults.

The Project

The foundation is supporting the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and partners to develop cassava varieties with higher levels of beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, as well as iron, and protein. This grant builds on previous foundation support, and funds research to develop varieties appropriate for small farmers in Nigeria and Kenya, where cassava is widely consumed and nutrient deficiencies are prevalent. Among pre-school aged children who rely on cassava in Nigeria, 83 percent are vitamin A deficient and 43 percent are iron deficient; in Kenya, 41 percent are vitamin A deficient and 78 percent are iron deficient.

The Partners

Experts at nine public institutions are contributing to the BioCassava Plus project. Major partners include:

Read more about BioCassava Plus.


David Tribe

Written by David Tribe

David Tribe’s research career in academia and industry has covered molecular genetics, biochemistry, microbial evolution and biotechnology. He has over 60 publications and patents. Dr. Tribe's recent activities focus on agricultural policy and food risk management. He teaches graduate programs in food science and risk management as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne.

One comment

  1. Whenever you see a project like this, you can count on European money/activists protesting it. And you never need to look very far.
    “Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) and over 30 other civil society groups in Nigeria have condemned the alleged approval by the Federal Government for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Centre, United States, to conduct field-testing of a genetically modified cassava christened “Super Cassava” in Nigeria.” [1]
    They also have a nice website. [2] Check out their anti-biotech program. [3]
    ———–
    1. “ERA Flays Testing of ‘Super Cassava'”, http://allafrica.com/stories/200903090236.html
    2. http://www.eraction.org/about-era
    3. http://www.eraction.org/programmes?id=3&view=category

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