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About Sweet Sorghum

Context:

Sweet sorghum is a hardy, nutritious, biofuel crop that offers solutions in drought-hit southern Africa because of the El-Nino phenomenon.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

About Sweet Sorghum:

Overview:
  • Importance: Most important millet crop, second only to rice in area cultivated among cereals.
  • Drought Resistance: Key characteristic allowing varieties to enter dormancy during dry periods and resume growth afterwards.
Required Climatic Conditions:

Rainfall:

  • Not Preferred: High rainfall or continuous heavy rain post-flowering can hamper sugar content.

Soil:

  • Suitability: Medium depth soils with good drainage are ideal.
  • Types: Suitable for red, black, laterite, and loamy soils. Water requirement varies with soil type and depth.
Unique Features of Sorghum:

Resilience:

  • Water and Nitrogen: Can withstand low inputs.
  • Salinity and Drought: High tolerance makes it ideal for arid regions.
  • Stalk Juice: Utilizes stalk juice to supplement plant needs under intense water scarcity.

Uses:

  • Food Industry: Stalk used for producing value-added products like ethanol, syrup, and jaggery.
  • Animal Feed and Cogeneration: Bioenriched bagasse used as fodder and base material.

Product Varieties:

  • Grains and Sugary Juice: Can produce grains, animal feed, and sugary juice.
  • Traditional and Commercial Uses: Grains used for steamed bread, porridge malt for traditional beer, and commercial beer production.

-Source: Down To Earth


 

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