Huge progress in breeding anthracnose-resistant sorghum
Sorghum is one of the three most important cereal crops in Ethiopia, but it has a lethal enemy that flourishes in the wet, warm west of the country.
He focused his doctoral research on breeding anthracnose-resistant sorghum, which is seen as a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly solution to controlling this disease than other methods such as crop protection chemicals and cultural practices. The study was financially supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, and the Agricultural Growth Programme of the Oromia Agricultural Research Institute in Ethiopia.
Digafe grew up on a small farm in Ethiopia where his parents, who were part-time farmers, grew maize, tef and sorghum. His background lead him to study plant science and then a master’s degree in plant breeding, and he came to Pietermaritzburg to join the ACCI PhD programme in 2016, under the supervision of Professor Hussein Shimelis.