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Commercial sorghum

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**Origin and Historical Significance**:
– Sorghum likely domesticated in Africa, with evidence dating back to 800-600 BC in Nubia.
– Spread to Middle East, Europe, and beyond during the Muslim Agricultural Revolution.
– Name ‘sorghum’ derived from Latin ‘Syricum,’ meaning grain of Syria.
– Traditional uses in brewing and food production.
– Adapted to various climates worldwide.
– Evolution in modern agricultural practices.

**Cultivation and Production**:
– Used for food, fodder, and alcoholic beverages.
– Drought and heat-tolerant, vital in arid regions.
– 5th most important cereal crop globally.
– Major producers include the US, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Mexico.
– Increasing use in Tanzania due to climate change.
– Efforts by ICRISAT enhancing sorghum farming and productivity.

**Uses and Nutritional Value**:
– Staple food in arid regions, used in various cuisines.
– Source of B-complex vitamins and minerals like iron and phosphorus.
– Gluten-free and low glycemic index, suitable for diabetics.
– Rich in fiber and antioxidants.
– Used for human consumption, livestock feed, biofuels, and industrial purposes.

**Challenges and Improvement Efforts**:
– Diseases like bird predation, corn earworms, aphids.
– Requires specific moisture and temperature conditions for optimal growth.
– Efforts to reduce antinutritional factors and enhance nutritional value.
– Research on protein composition and digestibility.
– Continuous improvement in cultivation techniques and exploring new varieties.

**Economic Impact and Research Development**:
– Significant contribution to agricultural economies and food security.
– Diverse applications leading to market stability.
– Provides income for farmers and exported globally.
– Research on herbicide resistance management, weed interference, and cropping systems.
– Modeling dynamics and continuous improvement in cultivation techniques.

Commercial sorghum (Wikipedia)

Commercial sorghum is the cultivation and commercial exploitation of species of grasses within the genus Sorghum (often S. bicolor, sometimes Sorghum arundinaceum). These plants are used for grain, fibre and fodder. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Commercial Sorghum species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia.

A grain sorghum cultivar

Other names include durra, Egyptian millet, feterita, Guinea corn, jwari ज्वारी (Marathi), jowar, juwar, milo, shallu, Sudan grass, cholam (Tamil), jola/ಜೋಳ (Kannada), jonnalu జొన్నలు (Telugu), gaoliang (zh:高粱), great millet, kafir corn, dura, dari, mtama, and solam.

Sorghum has been, for centuries, one of the most important staple foods for millions of poor rural people in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa. For some impoverished regions of the world, sorghum remains a principal source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Sorghum grows in harsh environments where other crops do not grow well, just like other staple foods, such as cassava, that are common in impoverished regions of the world. It is usually grown without application of any fertilizers or other inputs by a multitude of small-holder farmers in many countries.

Grain sorghum is the third most important cereal crop grown in the United States and the fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world. In 2010, Nigeria was the world's largest producer of grain sorghum, followed by the United States and India. In developed countries, and increasingly in developing countries such as India, the predominant use of sorghum is as fodder for poultry and cattle. Leading exporters in 2010 were the United States, Australia and Argentina; Mexico was the largest importer of sorghum.

An international effort is under way to improve sorghum farming. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has improved sorghum using traditional genetic improvement and integrated genetic and natural resources management practices. New varieties of sorghum from ICRISAT has now resulted in India producing 7 metric tons per hectare (2.8 long ton/acre; 3.1 short ton/acre). Some 194 improved cultivars are now planted worldwide. In India, increases in sorghum productivity resulting from improved cultivars have freed up 7 million hectares (17 million acres) of land, enabling farmers to diversify into high-income cash crops and boost their livelihoods. Sorghum is used primarily as poultry feed, and secondarily as cattle feed and in brewing applications.

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