After a gap of over two decades, more than 400 researchers from the global sorghum research community, including Dr Gebisa Ejeta, World Food Prize Winner, 2009, converged at the ‘Sorghum in the 21st Century’ conference held during 9-12 April 2018 at Cape Town, Republic of South Africa (RSA).
The event touched upon various aspects of sorghum research, development, processing, marketing and policy.
ICRISAT co-sponsored a special session on Improvement of Post-rainy Sorghum on 11 April. During this the multi-disciplinary project (physiology, breeding, crop modelling, socio-economics, etc.) to improve the fodder/grain quality and productivity of post-rainy sorghum in India was discussed at length.
Scientists from ICRISAT shared their work and perspectives during the meet.
Dr. Kizito Mazvimavi, ICRISAT Country Representative, Zimbabwe, talked about how farm-level demonstrations and food tasting fairs have boosted sorghum utilization and production in Zimbabwe. While Dr. Jana Kholova, Senior Scientist – Crops Physiology & Modelling, presented the latest technological advances for in situ screening for crop nutritional qualities, Dr. Damaris Odeny, Theme Leader-Biotechnology, Eastern and Central Africa, spoke about the genomic studies being done to decipher crop resistance to multiple diseases.
Dr. Ashok Kumar, Principal Sorghum Breeder, described R&D efforts related to sorghum especially in the semi-arid tropics and emphasized its role in biofuels. Dr. Hari Upadhyaya talked about the sorghum mini-core collection. Dr Saikat Datta Mazumdar, COO, NPK-AIP, chaired a session on empowerment of smallholder sorghum farmers linking agriculture, nutrition and entrepreneurship.
ICRISAT’s role in sharing improved seeds, technologies and enhancing the capacities of African researchers was noted as a major boost to sorghum improvement research in Africa.
CGIAR Research Program: Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals