Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding promising research to fight soil erosion in Ethiopia
One project looking at sorghum – a major cereal crop in the developing world – is the furthest along. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Raaijmakers has sorghum field trials running in the plant’s native Ethiopia. The aim is to use feisty microbes to combat witchweed, a parasitic purple plant that decimates sorghum harvests. He’s already performing greenhouse experiments, but is cautious about the results. “It’s too early to be optimistic at this stage,” Raaijmakers says. '