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Adding to major crops like tea, being picked here, the African Plant Breeding Academy will focus on 100 traditional crops that have been neglected for having lower economic priority. (Mars Inc./courtesy photo)
The opening of the new African Plant Breeding Academy, designed to improve the livelihood and health of Africa’s 600 million smallholder farmers and their families, was celebrated Monday in Nairobi, Kenya, by researchers from UC Davis and their global partners from the African Orphan Crops Consortium.
The academy plans to sequence, assemble and annotate the genomes of 100 traditional African food crops to guide development of vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products that are more robust and nutritious.
This work is intended to help eliminate hunger and malnutrition, which frequently causes physical stunting and incomplete neurological development among children in rural Africa.