Project Details

Sweet sorghum: An alternative energy crop

Duration: 01/Jan/2009 - 31/Dec/2013

Locations: Eastern and Southern Africa / West and Central Africa / Asia

Project contact: Belum VS Reddy

Donor: Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomiquie pour le Development (CIRAD)-France

CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Cereals

Increasing world market prices for fossil fuels, driven by limited reserves, growing demand and instability in producing regions, now render renewable fuels economical. Bio-ethanol from crop plants is a promising, partial solution to sustainably satisfy the energy demand for road transport.

Sweet sorghum, as a source of either fermentable free sugars or lignocellulosics, has many potential advantages, including: high water, nitrogen and radiation use efficiency; broad agro-ecological adaptation; rich genetic diversity for useful traits; and the potential to produce fuel feedstock, food and feed in various combinations. Fuel-food crops can thereby help reconcile energy and food security issues. This project will breed for improved cultivars and hybrids of sorghum for temperate, tropical semi-arid and tropical acid-soil environments by pyramiding in various combinations, depending on region and ideotype, tolerance to cold, drought and acid soils; and high production of stalk sugars, easily digestible biomass and grain (WP 1-3).

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