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$4 million international collaboration to improve sorghum productivity under drought conditions

Scientists from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) at The University of Queensland will work with colleagues in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to address problems common to sorghum growers in many of the globe's low-rainfall regions. 

Underpinning the research is a $4 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, supported by the research-expertise and resources of UQ, DAFF and the Ethiopian Government. 

“This is certainly one of the biggest international drought-tolerant sorghum research programs ever undertaken,” Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said. “Improved drought resistance is vital to global food security and supports our commitment to double the value of food production in Queensland by 2040."

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said “Like Queensland, Africa needs improved drought-resistant sorghum varieties. This grant from the Gates Foundation will help secure food supply in Africa while at the same time benefiting Queensland's $429 million sorghum crop (farm gate value) and the valuable livestock industries it supports.” 
“As well as aiming to alleviate hunger in sub-Saharan Africa, the research may stimulate Queensland's sorghum industry, which adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the state's economy and is a mainstay of many rural communities.” 

Story source: Adapted from a University of Queensland news release, 12 Mar 2013

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