Submitted to: Proceedings Assoc for Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2006
Publication Date: 10/6/2006
Citation: Simon, J.E., Park, C., Wu, Q.L., Diatta, M., Diouf, B., Wilde, B., Asante-Dartey, J., Acquaye, D., Quansah, C., Ferreira, J.F. 2006. 'Artemisia annua': Production in sub-Saharan Africa. Association for Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) 6th National Symposium: Creating Markets for the Economic Development of New Crops & New Uses. San Diego, CA. October 14-18, 2006, Abstracts p. 74.
Technical Abstract: Malaria continues to be a major infectious disease facing those living in tropical regions of the world. WHO estimates annual infections of nearly a billion/year and they now recommend the use of artemisinin-combination treatments (ACT) as the first line treatment for multi-drug resistant falciparum malaria. Pharmaceutical compounds manufacture ACTs using derivatives of artemisinin, a natural product from Artemisia annua but artemisinin supplies are in short supply while demand is very high. The major commercial production regions include China, Vietnam and East Africa (Tanzania/Kenya). Several challenges face the commercial production of artemisinin including lack of available high quality and affordable seed, low artemisinin yields, limited number of commercial processors handling the raw dried herbal materials from producers. Due to the short supply and the emerging demand for artemisinin-derived anti-malarials, many other countries are exploring the feasibility of large-scale production. As part of our international development work (see: www.asnapp.org) and history of working on the biology of the plant and in developing high yielding lines, we established trials in several sub-Saharan African countries to ascertain the adaptability and commercial production potential. This paper will review the highlights of several trials conducted in Ghana, Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and in the USA at Rutgers University, where several of the same selections were comparatively evaluated. Our studies illustrated that with the appropriate germplasm, Artemisia annua could be successfully grown in Ghana, Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia. Furthermore, sub-Sahara Africa can also serve as a seed production region in the development of improved and affordable germplasm. Further studies are needed to improve the handling of seedling nurseries, planting schedules, water management, harvesting and post-harvest handling. Finally, no production can begin without concurrent processing which is being developed now in both Madagascar and Ghana.