The first world conference on sorghum in over 30 years will be hosted jointly by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet of Kansas State University, USA, and the University of Pretoria (UP) in April 2018.
Prof John Taylor and Dr Janet Taylor of the Department of Consumer and Food Science at UP are serving respectively as chair and secretary of the local South African organising committee of this conference with the theme 'Sorghum in the 21st Century: Food, Feed and Fuel in a Rapidly Changing World'.
The sorghum conference will cover all aspects of sorghum, including genomics, breeding, agronomy, food science and technology, animal nutrition, biofuels, small-holder and emerging commercial sorghum farming, human nutrition and health, market development, and industry and consumer needs.
Sorghum, the world's fifth most important cereal crop, is indigenous to Africa and is exceptionally well-adapted to cultivation in Africa's arid and sub-tropical environment. Sorghum is a highly versatile crop, both as a traditional and nutritious grain staple for food and beverages and now as a speciality food grain, and grain and biomass livestock feedstuff and biofuel source.
The conference focus is on the unique attributes of sorghum and how they can help address the looming global concerns of the twenty-first century, including food and nutrition security, climate change, renewable energy and environmental sustainability.
The conference speakers include Prof Gebisa Ejeta, sorghum breeder from Purdue University and 2009 World Food Prize Winner, Profs David Jordan and Emma Mace from the University of Queensland who have sequenced the genomes of 40 different sorghum types, and Prof Joseph Awika from Texas A&M University, an expert on the special health-promoting attributes of sorghum.
Other staff from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences involved in the conference organisation include Profs Sheryl Hendriks, Gyebi Duodu, Riette de Kock and Naushad Emmambux. Mr Abadi Mezgebi, a PhD student from Ethiopia, is a member of the conference student chapter subcommittee.
For further information please contact Prof taylor directly on 012 420 4296, or send an email to [email protected]. Alternatively, visit the Sorghum Conference Website at 21centurysorghum.com.