The Africa Biofortified Sorghum Project Consortium

The problem of hunger and malnutrition in Africa is burning indeed because of extremely hot conditions and the inability to grow and prepare the products that are healthy and full of vitamins (Thurow, 2013). A number of African people use sorghum as the main crop in their lives because it could be grown in hot and dry conditions (Mastandrea, 2009).

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However, this crop is usually used as the main dietary staple. Due to a wet cooking process, this product loses its essential nutrients and does not provide a person, who eats it, with the required portion of zinc, lysine, and other important vitamins that determined the quality of a human life considerably (Taylor & Taylor, 2011). Still, people are in need of vitamins and proper nutrition. Therefore, the Africa Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) Project Consortium is developed in order to help African people solve their hunger, poverty, and malnutrition problems (Mastandrea, 2009).

The goal of this program is to use technologies and help the Africans to get access to food security and make sure that economic well-being and sustainable rural development are supported. The development of a nutritionally improved sorghum is one of the best strategies for malnutrition in this case because it helps people to afford vitamins and fortified food and not to spend much money.

A successful delivery of the program depends on such factors as the technological development, product development, and management. It is important to support such areas as public relations and intellectual property rights because all recommendations and approvals should be legal and effective for the citizens. Besides, it is important to train African scientists and explain the worth of this project to them.

Regardless of numerous preparations and detailed explanations, the ABS Project Consortium’s partners face several challenges. In fact, the majority of problems occur because of certain budgeting limitations. The team could not promote appropriate communication. It becomes hard to keep all team members informed about the latest achievements and observations.

The field trials in Burkina Faso introduce a lot of cultural discontents and political challenges. People have to understand the importance of biotechnology and its implementation in a human life. Still, the country’s famine becomes a serious problem, and the representatives of some organizations believe that biotechnologies cannot find the required answers. The partners of this program should be ready to prove the worthiness of their work and share the achievements in a short period of time.

In general, I think that the program described in the case study could hardly be replicated in other resource-constrained countries the same way it was in Africa. First, the attitude of African citizens to sorghum differs from the attitudes of other people. Sorghum is a subsistence crop for a number of Africans. Its biofortification is a chance to people to solve the problems of hunger and improve the promotion of health among the citizens.

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Such motivation plays a crucial role in the development of the project. It is hard to believe that any other country could achieve the same results in terms of managing people and inspiring them. Another important point is a kind of dependence of the African people on sorghum. The representatives of other countries could easily find a substitution for sorghum. In Africa, this crop remains to be one of the integral products in human lives. Therefore, Africa is the best place for the development of the ABS program and the observation of the results achieved.


Mastandrea, A. (2009). The Africa biofortified sorghum project consortium: Food safety and fighting malnutrition in Africa. Case Studies for Global Health, 110-114.

Taylor, J. & Taylor, J.R.N. (2011). Protein biofortified sorghum: Effect of processing into traditional African foods on their protein quality. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59, 2386-2392.

Thurow, R. (2013). The last hunger season: A year in an African farm community on the brink of change. New York: PublicAffairs.

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