Read on
A new public-private partnership project, Feed the Future Striga Smart Sorghum for Africa (SSSfA), has been launched in Kenya and Ethiopia. SSSfA is a project that utilizes CRISPR genome editing technology to develop new sorghum varieties resistant to Striga.
Editorial office / Nairobi

Striga is a parasitic weed responsible for up to 100 percent yield loss in Africa’s staple cereals, thus posing a great danger to the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers on the continent.

The three-year multi-institutional, multi-sectoral project is supported by the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, and led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID has awarded nearly US$3.8 million to support the lead partners, namely the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter, Kenyatta University (Kenya), and Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia).

The developed Striga-Smart sorghum varieties will be registered for commercial cultivation. The success of commercialized genome-edited crops is expected to have a spill-over effect across Africa, as countries incorporate CRISPR in breeding superior, resilient, and climate-smart crop varieties.

See the ISAAA website for details.

Image: ChWeiss/Shutterstock