From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.
Things may be changing soon for some crops in Africa. A group called the African Orphan Crops Consortium says these plants are not getting enough attention. And it thinks they could help ease hunger and improve nutrition on the continent.
一些非洲作物的情况可能很快会发生改变。一家名为非洲孤生作物协会(African Orphan Crops Consortium)的组织表示，这些作物没有得到足够的重视。该组织认为它们能有助于非洲缓解饥饿和改善营养。
The consortium opened the African Plant Breeding Academy last year in Nairobi, Kenya. The academy is the result of cooperation among international organizations. They are hoping to use genetic information from 100 African plants and trees that researchers have largely ignored, but food scientists say these crops have lots of possibilities.
Howard Yana-Shapiro is a senior fellow at the University of California, Davis. He is also the chief agricultural officer and global director of Plant Science and External Research for Mars Incorporated - the candy company.
霍华德·雅娜-夏皮罗（Howard Yana-Shapiro）是加州大学戴维斯分校的高级研究员。他也是糖果公司 - 玛氏食品公司植物科学与对外研究部门的农业主管和全球总监。
Mr Shapiro says he began thinking about ways to improve nutrition at the local level after seeing how poor nutrition affects children in Africa and India. He says a woman who does not eat right during her pregnancy can affect the physical and mental health of a baby. These problems, he says, can not be corrected.
Mr Shapiro spoke to VOA from Nairobi. He said the African Plant Breeding Academy will work on many different kinds of plants.
He says hundreds of African plants have been ignored because they are not economically important in international trade. But food scientists say the plants still have value to people in Africa.
The African Orphan Crops Consortium plans to train plant breeders and researchers over a one-year period about the genetics of these crops. The consortium hopes they will produce more food with higher nutritional levels.
Mr Shapiro says anything researchers learn will be shared with the world without cost.
And that's the Agriculture Report from VOA Learning English. For more agriculture stories, go to our website www.voanews.cn, where you can also find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports. I'm Christopher Cruise.