Project Details

Identification of micronutrients-dense sorghums for better health in India

Duration: 01/Jan/2016 - 31/Dec/2016

Locations: Asia / India

Project contact: Dr A Ashok Kumar (

Donor: CGIAR,HarvestPlus Challenge Program

CGIAR Research Program: Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

Sorghum is among the largest staple foods in India. The per capita annual sorghum consumption in major sorghum growing areas in India is more than 75 kg and it contributes to more than 50% of the dietary micronutrient requirements, particularly the low-income group populations. India has the largest number of malnourished women and children in the world. Therefore any improvement in grain Iron (Fe) and Zinc (Zn) concentration in sorghum directly benefit the poor as it is one of the cheapest foods and the intake is continuous. With the funding support from HarvestPlus, over years, we assessed the variability for grain Fe and Zn concentration of a large number of sorghum lines; studied the gene action, trait associations, effect of micro and macro nutrient fertilization on grain Fe and Zn; developed a number of new hybrids (with selected parents for higher Fe and Zn), varieties and hybrid parents with high Fe and Zn concentration, which are under multi-location evaluation for commercialization. The development of high-yielding and micronutrient-dense sorghum cultivars adapted to various agro-climatic conditions is underway. One of the improved varieties developed in the project ICSR 14001 is currently in multi-location testing under All India Coordinated Sorghum Improvement Project (AICSIP).

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