The Howard Buffett Foundation has donated $4 million on a project to develop sorghum that contains more Vitamin A, zinc and iron, and also has improved protein digestibility characteristics. Sorghum is a cereal similar to corn but more drought resistant and a staple part of the diet of Africans.
‘Improving the nutrition of this staple crop has the potential to change the lives of more than 300 million Africans,’ said Buffett.
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest not-for-profit independent research institute dedicated to plant science, is collaborating on the project with DuPont’s agricultural unit Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
Earlier this month The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center received an $8.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance its work to improve the health and wellbeing of farmers, their families, and other consumers of cassava living in Nigeria and Kenya. The focus of this grant is developing nutrition-rich cassava.
Howard Buffett is the son of Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and a good friend of Bill Gates, who sits on the board of directors of Berkshire. Buffett has a long involvement with farmers in Africa and has contributed $100 million to ALAS, led by Shakira and other Latin American artists.
As an activist and philanthropist, Howard Buffett has expressed strong concerns that humanity may have moved beyond the tipping point, in terms of insuring future food supplies in Africa, India and other impoverished regions around the world. Climate change and over-fertilized soils threaten basic agricultural bounty and soil fertiity.