Physical Environment of Sorghum- and Millet-growing Areas in South Asia uri icon


  • In the semi-arid areas of Asia, rainfed farming of sorghum and millet constitutes the mainpattern of land use. About 57% of the world's millet and 38% of the sorghum come from Asia;South Asia contributes 60% of the total Asian production of both crops, with India aloneproducing 96% of the millet and 98% of the sorghum. However, a major constraint to increasingproduction is drought, resulting from low and variable rainfall and soils with low water-holdingcapacity. The wide range of variation in other climatic parameters as well?temperature;radiation, and evapotranspiration?in the sorghum- and millet-growing areas is illustrated anddiscussed. The broad soil regions in semi-arid Asia are described, and measures suggested forimproving and stabilizing yields by matching the crop growth cycle with the growing period. Thevariability in the phenology, growth, and yield of sorghum is illustrated with examples from a3-year multilocation sorghum-modeling experiment. It is proposed that data banks be set up tocollect?via an interagency network?the information on climate, soils, and crops needed toassess the impact of the physical environment on sorghum and millet production in thesemi-arid tropics

publication date

  • 1984