AOCC Receives Gift
African Orphan Crops Consortium Receives Agricultural Grant To Help Tackle Malnutrition
Mars food security project receives technological support from leading bio-technology company, Illumina
SAN DIEGO, USA (January 14, 2015) – The African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) is this year’s recipient of the Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative grant. The grant program is designed to help identify measures that can increase crop yields and improve livestock welfare and productivity to alleviate poverty and hunger in the developing world.
The AOCC, a collaboration between Mars, Incorporated, African Union – New Partnership for Africa’s Development, University of California, Davis, and a host of other private and not-for-profit partners, plans to use the grant to further its work studying the genetic diversity of 100 different species of African crops.
“We are very excited to receive this prestigious award. The Agricultural Greater Good Initiative is a perfect complement to the AOCC. With the award, we will sequence the transcriptomes for 50 species of African orphan crops to define the genes expressed in these species. All the work will be carried out in Africa,” said Allen Van Deynze, Director of Research at UC Davis and member of the Steering Committee for AOCC. “Our goal is to curb stunting due to malnutrition, an epidemic affecting 35 to 40 percent of Africans, by training breeders and improving crops important nutritionally to African diets.”
“Illumina is proud to advance food security in Africa through this Agricultural Greater Good Initiative grant and to provide AOCC researchers with the tools and technologies necessary to improve agricultural practices in Africa,” said Kirk Malloy, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Life Sciences at Illumina. “By unlocking the power of the genome, Illumina is enabling our collaborators to improve human health and well-being for those most in need.”
The Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative grants, launched in 2011, are awarded annually at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference. The program spurs critically needed research that will increase the sustainability, productivity, and nutritional density of agriculturally important crop and livestock species. Grant recipients receive donations of Illumina products to support their projects.
Illumina is transforming human health as the global leader in sequencing and array-based technologies. The company serves customers in a broad range of markets, enabling the adoption of genomic solutions in research and clinical settings. To learn how Illumina is unlocking the power of the genome, visit www.illumina.comand follow @illumina.
For more information about Illumina products for agrigenomics, visit: www.illumina.com/agrigenomics.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA™ and WISDOM PANEL™.