Dr. Gebisa Ejeta

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta received the 2009 World Food Prize for his sorghum hybrids that are resistant to drought and the devastating weed, Striga. His work dramatically increased the production and availability of the food supply for hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Combined with his persistent efforts to foster economic development and the empowerment of subsistence farmers through the creation of agricultural enterprises in rural Africa, he has had profound impacts on lives and livelihoods on a broader scale across the African continent.

Dr. Ejeta’s connections to OSU run deep. After the eighth grade, he was accepted into Jimma Agricultural and Technical School in Ethiopia, which had been established by OSU under the US government’s Point Four Program (now USAID). After graduating with distinction, Ejeta entered Alemaya College (also established by OSU) in eastern Ethiopia.

Upon completing his graduate degree at Purdue University, Dr. Ejeta accepted a position as a sorghum researcher at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) office in Sudan. His dedication to helping poor farmers feed themselves and their families and rise out of poverty propelled his work in leveraging the gains of his hybrid breeding breakthrough. OSU’s investment in building capacity in Higher Education in Ethiopia is a philosophy Dr. Ejeta has embraced. By partnering with leaders and farmers across sub-Saharan Africa and educational institutions in the U.S. and abroad, Dr. Ejeta has personally trained and inspired a new generation of African agricultural scientists who are carrying forth his work.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in plant science from Ethiopia’s Alemaya College and a PhD in plant breeding and genetics at Purdue University.

For more information about the World Food Prize, click here