Crops   » Sorghum

Providing food security and much more for millions
Sorghum is a highly reliable crop that grows well in hot, dry environments. It is “climate change-ready”, and provides food security and income for millions of poor farmers living in such locations. 

500 million – Number of people who rely on sorghum as a dietary staple

242 – Number of improved commercial sorghum varieties derived from ICRISAT research

484 – Average net return (US$) per hectare to African farmers growing improved sorghum

1,240 – Average net return (US$) per hectare to African farmers who feed sorghum to livestock

ICRISAT-HOPE sharply increases sorghum yields in Maharashtra, India

HOPE has become reality for 25,000 farmers in dryland Marathwada and Western Maharashtra regions of the state of Maharashtra, known as the ‘Sorghum Bowl of India’. Initial assessments indicate that their grain yields rose by 40% and fodder yields by 20% on average over the past three seasons (2010-2012) due to improved sorghum varieties and crop management practices, along with improved market linkages. About half of these farmers operate on a very small scale, with landholding size of two hectares or less. Net income (the income that farmers retain after their costs of cultivation are paid for) has increased by 50%, to an average of US$78 per hectare of sorghum grown.

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Rooting around for answers

Genebank: Investing in the future

Nourishment from NutriPlus
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Bioinformatics tools for molecular breeding
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Brain and brawn belie bad soil
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A ray of HOPE in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Stifling striga with stronger sorghum
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TV dinners for livestock?
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Genetic resources for food security

Guinea-race sorghum hybrids

Reviving the think-tank in West Africa
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Led by light in West Africa
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Sorghum – linking farmer, feed-manufacturer, fellow scientists and fowl
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Guinea-race sorghum hybrids: New prospects for West Africa
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Sorghum, a crop of substance
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Old crops, new horizons
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A new Sahel - sun, sand and salvation
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Rebuilding Afghanistan's agriculture
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Of stalk and livestock
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Betting on biotechnology
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Making every moment count
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Crop scientists search for better sorghum variety

Top crop scientists and researchers from Kenya and Tanzania are trying to establish a sustainable sorghum crop capable of multiple uses. The objective is to support the development of new sorghum multi-purpose varieties that are higher yielding and adapted to both biotic and abiotic (insects and diseases) stresses in the arid and semi-arid agro ecologies of eastern Kenya and in the northern and central zones of Tanzania. Researchers from the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Africa Harvest Biotechnology International Foundation (Africa Harvest) have brought together key collaborators and partners to review the project and plan the way forward.


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Eva’s endeavours: a professional path in plant science inspired by Norman Borlaug

Learning about the work of Nobel laureate, Norman Borlaug, in high school inspired Eva Weltzien to become a plant breeder so she too could contribute to improving the living conditions in the developing world. Today, Eva is a Principal Scientist in sorghum breeding and genetic resources at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Mali.

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Grain revolution in the desert (German)

News article from German about the Sorghum, millets and GM crops with quotes from ICRISAT scientist Dr Eva W Rattunde.

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(Audio) BBC Radio report on Africa Food Security (04:35min)

2014 was declared the African year of Agriculture and Food security. So after the declaration, do you know what your country is doing to keep off hunger? Scientist from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics are already carrying out research to improve the yield and drought resistance in certain crops. The BBC’s Frenny Jowi visited a group of farmers in Busia, Western Kenya who are leading in adopting growing alternative crops such as finger millet, sorghum and cassava to keep their silos and stomachs full all year round.

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Nourishing communities

Open access research for the semi-arid tropics

ICRISAT's New Tool, EXPLOREit, Optimizes What Agricultural Research Can Do for Development

What do we mean when we talk of gender strategies for agricultural research?

Tanzania's government signs off on sorghum
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Nourishing communities through holistic farming

Mali seed entrepreneur discovers taste for food security – in pictures

Africa Harvest in new project to popularize sorghum
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Mouldy sorghum finds its niche

Sorghum: A sweet alternative

Sweet sorghum for food, feed and fuel

Mali's first woman seed entrepreneur helps improve food security

Andhra Pradesh and ICRISAT Join Hands to Fight Groundnut Virus

ICRISAT Director General Dr. William D. Dar submitted today an Action Plan to the Honorable Chief Minister Shri Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh for containing the spread of the peanut stem necrosis disease (PSND) that ravaged about 2.5 lakh hectares under groundnut in the Ananthapur and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh, during Kharif season last year.

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Sorghum Yield Nearly Doubled in India Thanks to ICRISAT-ICAR Partnership

"In India, sorghum yield increased from about 0.46 to 0.8 tons per hectare during the last 28 years, helping to release over 4 million hectares, which were previously under sorghum, for growing other crops" said ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar in his address as Guest of Honor at the 31st Annual Group Meeting of the All India Coordinated Sorghum Improvement Project on 5 May 2001 in Hyderabad.

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The first peanut genomes sequenced

Alexandria, VA and Hyderabad, India (02 April 2014) – The International Peanut Genome Initiative (IPGI), a multi-national group of crop geneticists working in cooperation for several years, has successfully sequenced the genome of the peanut. The new peanut genome sequence will be available to researchers and plant breeders across the globe to aid in the breeding of more productive, more resilient peanut varieties.

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