Advisory - 2009 World Food Prize Laureate on Global Food Security: Dr. Gebisa
Ejeta inaugurates lecture series

OTTAWA, Jan. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - A global leader in agricultural research, Dr. Gebisa Ejeta will be in Ottawa February 3 to make an impassioned case for revitalizing agricultural research to improve the lives of the one billion people who still suffer chronic hunger. He will argue that farmers in the developing world need new knowledge and methods, so that agriculture can become part of the solution to an increasingly complex set of global challenges, including climate change and water scarcity.

When: Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: IDRC, 150 Kent Street (Corner of Albert), 8th floor

Dr Ejeta grew up in an Ethiopian village, experiencing firsthand the hunger that he would dedicate his life to eradicating. He earned a PhD in plant breeding and genetics at Purdue University, where today he holds a distinguished professorship. In 2009, he was awarded the 2009 World Food Prize, considered the international development equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Dr. Gebisa was honoured for developing varieties of sorghum resistant to drought and striga, a weed that had inflicted devastating losses on Africa's main cereal crop. IDRC was an early supporter of his work. His research breakthroughs have helped to increase food supplies for hundreds of millions of people, across Africa and beyond. Dr. Gebisa has also mentored and inspired a generation of African scientists.

Dr. Ejeta's lecture inaugurates the Speakers of Renown series, which will be held throughout 2010 to mark IDRC's 40th anniversary. Television coverage of the February 3rd lecture will be provided by CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel. Upcoming headliners include are South Africa's Trevor Manuel, who went from anti-apartheid activist to one of the forces that made that country's economy one of the most robust in Africa; Chile's former President Ricardo Lagos, whose research was supported by IDRC at a time when intellectuals were being targeted by the Pinochet dictatorship; and Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, one of the leading voices on development in the Arab world.

The event is open to the media. French and English simultaneous interpretation is available. Spaces are limited and journalists are encouraged to register by calling Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé at 613-696-2343 or e-mailing at ibourgeault-tasse@idrc.ca.

For more information and the live webcast, visit www.idrc.ca/events-ejeta

About IDRC

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For 40 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

SOURCE International Development Research Centre

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé, Senior Media Advisor, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), (613) 696-2343

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International Development Research Centre

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