SATrends Issue 96
November 2008
1. The sweet taste of success
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Because of its fertile soils and congenial climate, Mozambique has a great potential for biofuel production. Recognizing this, the country established a bio-fuel task force in 2007 and has been developing a biofuel national policy framework. In order to contribute to this new interest, ICRISAT-Maputo partnered with Eco Energia, a Mozambican company with ties to the Swedish company SEKAB, to test sweet sorghum varieties in the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique. Eco Energia/SEKAB plan to use both sugarcane and sweet sorghum to produce and eventually export bioethanol to countries such as Sweden that are starting to require increasing quantities of ethanol in their efforts to meet EU regulations. Eco Energia/SEKAB will work with smallholder farmers in Mozambique and give them the opportunity to grow sweet sorghum for ethanol production.

sweet sorghum
A good stand of sweet sorghum in Mozambique.

ICRISAT gave Eco-Energia/SEKAB 24 varieties of sweet sorghum to screen for a variety of traits such as the overall yield, Brix values (sugar content), biomass yield per hectare, and quantity of juice. The sweet sorghum was planted in three areas in Cabo Delgado - Ocua, Chipembe, and Catapua - sites that were chosen for their different soil types, climates and average rainfalls.

After one growing season the results seem promising. Early data analysis shows that the varieties are doing very well in Chipembe. The varieties are producing sugar within 90-120 days, and some even earlier than that. The wide variability in the response of these lines in term of sugar content, juice volume and grain yield is encouraging (Table 1)..

sweet sorghum

ICRISAT-Maputo's partnership with Eco Energia/SEKAB is a good example of partnerships that promote research and encourage new developments for small-scale farmers in the region. In September a delegation from SEKAB visited ICRISAT headquarters in Patancheru to meet with scientists working on sweet sorghum as well as officials from Rusni Distilleries who are also partnering with ICRISAT to assess the viability of sweet sorghum for ethanol production. The visit proved very fruitful in guiding further research and developing the right research questions to benefit Mozambique.


For more details contact: c.dominguez@cgiar.org

 

2. Peeping into the future
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IMPACT is an acronym for the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade. The model was developed at IFPRI in the nineties and has now been adapted to address future scenarios for dryland cereals, pulses and oilseeds. It is a global, partial-equilibrium, multi-commodity agricultural sector model for crops and livestock. The model generates projections for supply, demand, net trade, world prices and per capita demand for 115 regions and 40 agricultural commodities up to 2020. Earlier, much of the IMPACT work centered around providing a forward-looking perspective on what is needed to meet future food needs, and the implications for key CGIAR mandate commodities. It was designed to look at the medium-to-long term periods. Yet the model is most effective for projections and not prediction.

Using the IMPACT model, scientists examined what effect a 25% increase in chickpea yield growth rates in India would have on global prices, trade and production patterns compared to the baseline (business-as-usual) scenario. In the baseline scenario in 2020, the chickpea area in India will decline while increasing yields will drive production growth (see Table). Despite the production growth, India will be a net importer with net trade increasing from -408, 000 tons to -910,000 tons in 2020. The projection for world prices (2000 constant prices) is an increase from US$566/ton to US$620/ton.

Under the chickpea yield growth for India scenario, production quantity in 2020 will be higher by 8% in India compared to the baseline value in 2020. Consequently, the world prices decline by 17%. Under this scenario, India also imports 50% less compared to the baseline scenario in 2020. Owing to this change, there will be a marginal decline in the exports from Canada (see figure below).

Chickpea net trade patterns for India and Canada under baseline and 25% increase in yield growth rates in India scenarios.

Chickpea


Chickpea production, trade and prices in 2020 under baseline and 25% increase in yield growth rates in India scenarios.

Chickpea

For more details contact: p.partha@cgiar.org or s.bhagavatula@cgiar.org



Change notice

ICRISAT launched SATrends in December 2000 and is grateful to the contributors, the wide readership, and the production team for regularly creating this newsletter and keeping it relevant each month for the last eight years.
It is now time for a change both in frequency and in form, so please look for the announcement of the exciting new plan next month. Thank you for your interest in SATrends. We look forward to keeping you better informed about ICRISAT's research in the coming years.

For more details contact: l.flynn@cgiar.org