Healthy Africa through nutritious, diverse and local food crops
Orcae - AOCC
The AOCC aims to sequence the genomes of more than 100 African neglected or under utilized crops, as well as to resequence hundred lines for each species. We aim to make these reference genomes available through our online genome annotation system ORCAE at http://bioinformatics.psb.ugent.be/orcae/aocc
Nutrition is at the core of AOCC. The consortium is working to address hidden hunger, malnutrition and stunting in Africa through nutritious local food crops. Many of these crops are rich in vitamins, micronutrients, anti-oxidants and medicinal ingredients. Due to nonstandard and unimproved cultivars grown in the country side, it is possible that they vary in their nutritional compositions and thus may not help in getting the right nutrition in correct proportions. AOCC aims to make nutritious crops grown in Africa productive. For further information on nutritional contents for some of the foods please check USDA nutrition database .
Malnutrition, hunger and stunting, particularly for children, are a big challenge in Africa. This can be addressed, to some extent, by adequately supplementing diets of children and women with nutritious fruits, vegetables and nuts, which can be produced and consumed locally. This requires country-level policies and downstream linkages with developmental organizations, national and local governments that will help to deliver these products at right places. Role of AOCC is upstream in helping the national agriculture research systems to develop locally available crops and supply nutritious and high yielding varieties by transferring the genomics technologies to breeding schemes.
AOCC was conceptualized as a network to complement strengths of institutions to build sustainable and healthy global, trans-African and local partnerships. Private and public organizations on board to contribute in one or many aspects of the partnership including knowledge, technology, fundraising, instrumentation, supplies and advocacy. Each partner has a unique competence and skill set to make the AOCC function as a single unit. One of the main strengths of AOCC is this partnership which ensures shared resources and activities.