Ethiopian Scientist Gebisa Ejeta Receives US National Medal of Science

Ejeta is widely acknowledged as a leading expert in plant genetics, focusing particularly on sorghum, a critical food source in Africa. He gained international recognition in 2009 when he received the prestigious World Food Prize for developing a drought-resistant sorghum hybrid that also combats the parasitic weed Striga, common in African farms. Sorghum ranks as the fifth most significant cereal crop globally and the second most vital in Africa, particularly in regions susceptible to drought.

Ejeta’s journey from a humble upbringing in Ethiopia to his current status as a prominent geneticist has been marked by determination and personal experiences of hunger and food scarcity. He drew on these experiences to drive his research in improving food security. Currently a professor and leader of global food security programs at Purdue University in Indiana, Mr. Ejeta has become a symbol of perseverance and a pivotal figure in the world of genetics.

During the award ceremony at the White House, President Biden praised Mr. Ejeta’s contributions, stating that his development of sorghum strains resistant to drought and parasites had significantly enhanced food security for millions and reinforced nations through his advocacy for science, policy, and institutions.

Source: BBC News

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