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Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology
Year : 2004, Volume : 4, Issue : 1
First page : ( 1) Last page : ( 15)
Print ISSN : 0972-2963.

Sorghum and Pearl Millet as Food-feed-crops in India

Hall A.1, Blümmel M.2,*, Thorpe W.2, Bidinger F.R.3, Hash C.T.3

1Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham Martime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK.

2International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru 502 324, India.

3International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), c/o ICRISAT, Patancheru-502 324, India.

*Reprint request: Dr. M. Blümmel, Tel: +91-8455-282498; Fax: +91-40-23241239; E-mail: m.blummel@cgiar.org

Received:  18  November,  2003.


This paper reviews the role of and demand for food-feed-crops, that is crops that are grown to provide both grain for human food and crop residues as fodder for ruminant livestock. The paper argues that the predicted increase in demand for livestock products will coincide with shrinking common property resources and an increasing scarcity of arable land and water resulting in an increase in the importance of food-feed-crops smallholder cropruminant livestock systems. As a consequence, the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and the International Livestock Research Institute have implemented collaborative research on the genetic improvement of fodder value of food-feed-crops, with emphasis on sorghum and pearl millet, which are important crops for the rural poor. The research has demonstrated the existence of significant genetic variation for fodder quality traits and it has identified cultivars that provide superior stover quality and quantity without detriment to grain yield. Initial estimates of heritability of pertinent stover quality traits were in the order of 0.7 suggesting good opportunities for further improvement of stover quality by genetic enhancement. However, certain socio-economic conditions need to be met for large-scale uptake of new varieties and hybrids.


Key words

Sorghum, Pearl millet, Stover quality, Genetic improvement.


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