Thursday, June 11, 2009

Purdue sorghum researcher wins World Food Prize

Gebisa Ejeta (left), Distinguished Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, was named the recipient of the World Food Prize today for research leading to the increased production and availability of sorghum in his native Africa, reports the Purdue News Bureau.

Ejeta, a plant breeder and geneticist originally from Ethiopia, developed sorghum varieties resistant to drought and Striga, a parasitic weed. Sorghum is a major food crop for more than 500 million people on the African continent.

The World Food Prize is considered the Nobel Prize of agriculture. It is awarded each year by the World Food Prize Foundation to individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food worldwide.

Ejeta is the second Purdue professor to receive the World Food Prize in three years. Philip Nelson, the Scholle Chair Professor in Food Processing and former head of Purdue's Department of Food Science, won the award in 2007 for developing aseptic bulk storage and distribution, a technology for transporting processed fruits and vegetables without product spoilage.


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