African Agriculturalists Experience Agriculture at Its Best (7/8/2004)


For more on Africa Harvest - "known globally as the voice of Africa in the debate surrounding biotechnology" - and its founder see:

African Agriculturalists Experience Agriculture at Its Best
African Agriculturalists in Iowa to Learn, Share Agricultural Expertise With Developing Nations JOHNSTON, Iowa - PRNewswire - Aug. 5
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

JOHNSTON, Iowa, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- If you want to learn about corn production, there's no better place than Iowa to learn about cutting-edge technology, the best agronomic practices and top-notch business marketing skills.

This summer two African agriculturalists are visiting Iowa for an extended study experience to better understand corn production and modern agricultural practices. Upon their return they will share what they've learned to help subsistence farmers in some of the poorest nations in the world.

Rosa Seleke of Johannesburg, South Africa, and James Kamanga of Nairobi, Kenya, are spending two months in Iowa as part of an offer extended to them and through their organization, the Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International. The organization, better known as Africa Harvest, has become known globally as the voice of Africa in the debate surrounding biotechnology. Seleke and Kamanga are being hosted by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

"We've learned so much from these Iowa farmers who have generously shared their time and expertise with us," said Seleke. "We're so grateful to have this opportunity. It's been an eye-opening experience, and we hope to improve the lives of many Africans with the knowledge we've gained."

In addition to spending time shadowing Iowa farmers, Rosa, a plant genetic engineer, and James, an agricultural economist, will spend time in various departments within Pioneer, gaining the knowledge and skills they will need to facilitate maize agronomy and field trials in their own countries and eventually in countries across Africa. Upon their return to Africa, they will share this information with others at Africa Harvest, passing on technical knowledge they hope will eventually aid Africa in the development of food security and widespread use of modern agricultural techniques and technologies.

"I am amazed at the technology and capacity of agriculture here in Iowa," said Kamanga. "Iowa is truly a leader in agriculture, food production and seed development. Iowa's lush, green landscape is an extreme contrast to what I see in Africa. But I hope that exchanges such as this will improve the lives of farmers in Africa."

Africa Harvest, founded by Dr. Florence Wambugu in 2002, aims to alleviate hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Africa and the developing world through the use of modern agricultural practices, including the use of biotech tools, leading to sustainable agricultural development. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, the organization dedicates resources, expertise and talents to promote Pan-African development and networks with individuals and institutions that have similar goals to find solutions to hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Africa.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics, crop protection solutions and quality crop systems to customers in nearly 70 countries. DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

Contact: Desiree Fletcher-Hayes 515-334-6768 [email protected]

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

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