Abdu Rahman Beshir, a CIMMYT graduate research fellow from Ethiopia, received an award for the best project in the PhD category at a recent Postgraduate Students’ Symposium on Botany and Plant Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) for his paper titled ‘Quality Protein Maize: towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals through better nutrition and stable yields.’ His presentation highlighted the severity of malnutrition in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and the ways quality protein maize (QPM) seeks to address the issue.
Beshir conducted his field research between July 2009 and December 2011 at CIMMYT Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia in collaboration with national programs and with support from the Drought Tolerant Maize in Africa (DTMA) Initiative and the Quality Protein Maize Development project. Beshir focuses on the evaluation of yield and secondary traits of early maturing QPM cultivars (both hybrids and open pollinated varieties) under different mega environments of sub-Saharan Africa (his research was featured in Informa 1689). Beshir –is studying at the University of the Free State (UFS) under the supervision of Maryke Labuschagne and Angie Van Biljon (UFS), and Dan Makumbi (CIMMYT) and Peter Setimela (CIMMYT). “I would like to acknowledge the invaluable support from CIMMYT. This award is an indication of the relevance of research conducted at CIMMYT globally,” said Beshir. “There are many people who are looking for such opportunities, who can make a difference and contribute more to science; hence CIMMYT’s efforts are highly commendable,” added Beshir, thanking all who contributed to his studies and career growth.
The UJ symposium is an annual platform for postgraduate students from different universities to present their research findings. These findings are judged by a panel of professors based on the significance of the project, the quality of the content, and delivery.