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An Ambitious Genome Sequencing Project Is Tackling Africa’s Nutrition Crisis

Scientists and companies like Google and Mars are using figuring out how to breed Africa’s traditional crops to be more nutritious and easier to grow.

Across Africa, some of the most nutritious crops are the indigenous, traditional foods that grow in the wild or in backyard gardens. People have eaten foods like amaranth, okra, and breadfruit for centuries, but most of them have never been grown in formal agriculture systems and their seeds never bred for qualities like yield or higher nutrient content. The continent’s major cash food crops are far less healthy grains, mainly corn and rice.

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