22) Tata Chemicals joins ICRISAT’s sweet sorghum ethanol consortium

The Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL), a leading company in the Tata group of industries joined hands with ICRISAT by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for entering the Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Research Consortium (SSERC) on 17 November 2007. Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, and Mr Homi R Khusrokhan, Managing Director of TCL, signed the MOA at Hyderabad.

According to Dr William Dar, this partnership will go a long way in enhancing the commercialization of sweet sorghum for bioethanol production. Production of ethanol from sweet sorghum as a biofuel can provide additional income to dryland farmers and does not compromise their food security.

Through the ICRISAT Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Research Consortium (SSERC) the Institute promotes the technology for producing the biofuel through public-private partnership.

Tata Chemical Limited is today a leading manufacturer of inorganic chemicals, fertilizers and food additives. The company has an annual turnover of about US$ 1.5 billion and is part of the US$ 28.8 billion Tata Group, India 's foremost business conglomerate. Recently TCL has entered biofuels production and is setting up a plant in Nanded, Maharashtra , for manufacture of bioethanol from sweet sorghum. Through the MOA, TCL can now avail the sweet sorghum research outputs of ICRISAT. This includes supply of seeds of sweet sorghum varieties and hybrids along with technical know-how on sweet sorghum cultivation aspects.

Mr. Khusrokhan said that he was very happy that TCL had joined the consortium and was very impressed by the wonderful developmental work done by ICRISAT all around the world.

It is envisaged that there is a huge global opportunity for all partners to work together to benefit millions of farmers by offering new market opportunities through this new venture.

For further information, contact Dr Belum VS Reddy at b.reddy@cgiar.org or Sujit Patil at spatil@tatachemicals.com.


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