Newly developed high biomass sorghum. Photo: B Veera Shetty, ICRISAT

Newly developed high biomass sorghum and pearl millet a boon to 2G biofuel production in India

The advantages of newly developed high biomass sorghum and pearl millet developed by ICRISAT and Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) for use as feedstock in second generation or lignocellulosic (2G) biofuel production in India was highlighted at a recent workshop. India is a signatory to the UN Climate Change Paris Agreement (COP21) and biofuel production is one of the thrust areas identified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country’s ethanol production is mainly from sugarcane molasses. However, considering severe…

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Barley varieties with higher antioxidant potential identified

Barley is one of the oldest cultivated cereals and is well known for its health benefits and medicinal value. Barley and malt are now gaining renewed interests as ingredients for the production of functional foods owing to their concentration of soluble fiber, β-glucan and bioactive compounds. Many of these bioactive compounds have high antioxidant activity. Barley varieties with higher antioxidant activity are beneficial as food for human consumption. The Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR), Karnal, India in…

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Women farmer with sweet sorghum, India

Sweet sorghum complementing ethanol production in sugar mills

To help the government achieve the national ethanol blending targets of 20% by 2017, private sugar mills and the public sector research institutes are collaborating with ICRISAT to identify and test sweet sorghum varieties suitable for ethanol production. Under the framework of CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals, a total of seven sugar mills are associated with ICRISAT in this 3-year project. At the first Annual Review cum Work Planning meeting many sweet sorghum hybrids were identified as suitable for…

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The millet that can survive the heat

Blog post by A K Jayalekha, Lead Breeder – Pearl Millet, Bayer BioScience Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad, India Pearl millet, the staple cereal in arid and drier semi-arid regions of India is one of the most resilient among the cereals. The nutri-dense pearl millet is the only crop among the millets which can tolerate harsh climatic conditions of high temperature and low moisture. This beautiful annual C4 (Carbon Fixation) crop can give you more with less – the crop is capable of…

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Sweet sorghum as biofuel feedstock

To encourage the use of sweet sorghum as a feedstock for biofuel (ethanol) production in India, a consortium of partners from the public, private and research sectors have joined hands. Sweet sorghum is more suitable as feedstock for the ethanol industry because of its unique properties such as wide adaptability, drought tolerance, water and nutrient use efficiency along with high annual biomass yields. Sweet sorghum accumulates sugars in the stalks that can be crushed to extract juice, which can then…

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Farmers assess sweet sorghum opportunity for biofuel

With ethanol production the most viable option for sugar mills facing depressed sugar prices, some mills are looking to use sweet sorghum to produce transport-grade ethanol in the sugarcane off-season. A consortium of researchers and sugar mills are working with the farming community in Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Pondicherry and Karnataka in India to take this to a new commercial level. With sugar prices depressed to around `2,300 per ton for the past two to three years, the mill is expecting…

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Trials of postrainy sorghum hybrids sought by private sector seed industry

Trials of postrainy sorghum hybrids and distribution of the hybrids to as many private sector seed companies as possible was a major recommendation of the private sector seed industry at a recent consultation meeting. This would enable the companies to test the hybrids in multiple locations and identify the best ones for commercialization. Currently, private sector presence is dismal in the sorghum seed chain as open pollinated varieties are predominant in postrainy sorghum. This initiative would ensure their active participation…

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Enhancing postrainy sorghum to meet the demand in India

In India, improved productivity through better varieties offers an attractive opportunity for sorghum farmers to improve their incomes and at the same time meet the country’s demand. With this as the backdrop, the inception workshop of the second phase of “Improving postrainy sorghum varieties to meet the growing grain and fodder demand in India” project was organized by ICRISAT’s Research Program on Dryland Cereals on 18-20 March at the ICRISAT headquarters. The project is funded by the Australian Centre for…

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The CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals (Dryland Cereals) is a partnership between two members of the CGIAR Consortium – ICRISAT (lead center), and ICARDA, along with a number of public and private institutes and organizations, governments, and farmers globally.
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