UKZN 2019 Spring Graduation
Hearty congratulations to Girma Mengistu Digafe, who graduated with a PhD in plant breeding.
Girma’s research involved breeding new sorghum populations with anthracnose resistance and better yield gains in western Ethiopia, where anthracnose is a huge problem for farmers. Four articles were published in high-impact journals as a result of his research.
Girma was supervised by Prof Hussein Shimelis and financially supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and the Agricultural Growth Programme of the Oromia Agricultural Institute in Ethiopia.
Three crop science masters students graduated under the ACCI banner at spring graduation
Crop science? Yes, indeed. These students, Sibusiso Lucky Zulu, Tshikunde Maureen Nkhathusheleni and Zinhle Babongile Mhlaba, are among the first participants of the ACCI’s broader approach, where it trains students from other agricultural disciplines whose research overlaps with plant breeding.
The three masters students were supervised by our deputy director, Prof Hussein Shimelis, and Tshikunde and Zinhle received financial support via a project managed by Shimelis that is funded by the National Research Foundation.
Tshikunde’s research was an evaluation of heat and drought-tolerant wheat genotypes, based on drought tolerance and water-use efficiency parameters. Zinhle conducted a genetic diversity analysis of tepary bean.
Sibusiso was funded by the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) and his research involved investigating optimal harvest age in different sugarcane hybrids.