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Improving an Important Food Crop for 700 Million People

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM

Claude Fauquet, Ph.D., DirectorInternational Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

“The primary idea in all of my work was to help the farmer and fill the poor man’s empty dinner pail.”– George Washington Carver, in a 1929 letter

Carver’s legacy lives on here in St. Louis at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center where in 1991, the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology (ILTAB) was established to develop the techniques and products of tropical plant biotechnology and to transfer knowledge and resources to developing nations. By doing so, it works to help these countries improve their agricultural production in a sustainable manner, providing useful research tools and training young scientists from these impoverished countries. ILTAB Director, Dr. Claude Fauquet, in cooperation with the1,500-member Global Cassava Partnership, and with funding from the Gates Foundation, is working to move millions of people out of the poverty of subsistence farming by investing in research and development of the tropical root crop, cassava. Cassava is the cheapest known source of starch and is used to make more than 300 industrial products; but, despite growing demand and its production potential, it remains an “orphan crop,” grown mainly in areas that have little or no access to genetically improved varieties, fertilizer and other production inputs by small-scale farmers often cut off from marketing channels and agro-processing industries. By making sustainable increases in cassava production in the developing world, assisting Africa in achieving self-sufficiency in food production, and improving the nutritional value of cassava by increasing the content of vitamins and proteins, Dr. Fauquet, like George Washington Carver, is working hard to, “fill the poor man’s empty dinner pail.”

Presented in conjunction with the George Washington Carver traveling exhibition, November 29, 2008 – March 1, 2009. Traveling Carver Exhibition created by The Field Museum, Chicago, in collaboration with Tuskegee University and the National Park Service

To be held at:
Missouri History Museum – Lee Auditorium
Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park
St. Louis, Missouri 63112

FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC. Middle and high school students welcome. Parking free in Museum lot or in Forest Park.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009
7:00 PM-8:30 PM