GMO Golden Bananas could help combat vitamin A deficiency in Uganda by 2021

A project known as Banana21 commenced in 2005 to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies in Uganda and surrounding countries through the generation of farmer- and consumer-acceptable edible bananas with significantly increased fruit levels of PVA and iron. A genetic modification approach was adopted since bananas are recalcitrant to conventional breeding.

From the outset in 2005, Banana21 has been on a trajectory to develop lines of EAHBs with levels of fruit PVACs that would provide 50% of the EAR of VA with consumption of only 300 g per person per day. Based on the significant progress thus far, it is highly likely that the transgenic lines developed under Banana21 will be released by 2021 and have a significant impact in alleviating VAD in a sustainable way, especially in rural Uganda where bananas are a fundamental part of the culture.

The importance of banana as a food security crop (perennial nature, year-round production, and ability to cope with long periods of drought) associated with a low cost, farmer-driven distribution strategy should ultimately see “Golden bananas” adopted as a widespread and efficient VAD alleviating strategy in the next decade.

Read full, original post: Banana21: From Gene Discovery to Deregulated Golden Bananas

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