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Gebisa Ejeta

African Inventors

December 5, 2012
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Professor Gebisa Ejeta is an Ethiopian plant breeder and geneticist and the father of Africa's first commercial hybrid variety of sorghum that resists drought. He completed his early education in Ethiopia and obtained a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Plant Sciences from Alemaya College in 1973. He attended graduate school in the United States at Purdue University where he obtained his Master of Science (1976) and PhD (1978) in Plant Breeding & Genetics. He is also an American citizen and distinguished Professor at Purdue University.

With a colleague of his, he discovered the chemical basis of the relationship between the deadly parasitic weed striga and sorghum. With this finding, he was able to produce sorghum varieties that resist both drought and striga.

In 2009, he won the World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum, among other distinctions.

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Sources: Purdue University & Wikipedia

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