An Australian university has been awarded a $4 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, reveals Greg Johnson.

The University of Queensland has received a $4 million grant from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund a collaboration to improve sorghum (a group of grasses common present in cereal production) productivity under drought conditions. The agriculture program is in partnership with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation and Queensland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

“Improved drought resistance is vital to global food security and supports our commitment to double the value of food production in Queensland by 2040,” explained Queensland Premier Campbell Newman when announcing the grant. “The Gates Foundation grant and support for sorghum improvement is complemented by local growers, making land available for trial plots and working closely with our research teams.”

John McVeigh, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, explained that the research wouldn’t just benefit Queensland, but would also help growers in Africa as well.

“Like Queensland, Africa needs improved drought-resistant sorghum varieties,” McVeigh said. “This grant from the Gates Foundation will help secure food supply in Africa while at the same time benefiting Queensland’s $429 million sorghum crop and the valuable livestock industries it supports.”

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