Sweet sorghum good source for ethanol
The production and use of bio-fuels is growing. The Indian Crops Research
Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has therefore launched a campaign with
the dryland farmers, encouraging them to plant sweet sorghum (variety named
NTJ-2) for producing ethanol. The harvested sorghum is sold to a private
Sweet sorghum has other benefits when compared to sugarcane and maize. It
requires only half of the water required to grow maize and one eighth of the
water required to grow sugarcane. The cultivation cost is less when compared to
The juice from the stalks is used for
fuel alcohol production. The leftover stalks (called stillage) after juice
extraction can be used for animal feed, according to Dr. Belum Reddy, Principal
Scientist, Sorghum breeding, of the Institute. The sweet sorghum stalks are
relished by cattle and the digestibility is higher compared to grain sorghum.
A private distillery in collaboration with ICRISAT is
currently targeting about 2,500 acres to planting sweet sorghum. Nearly about
1,600 acres are already being covered during this year.
conducted have proved that from one hectare of sweet sorghum, a farmer can
harvest about 30 tonnes of fresh stalk.
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