Yield Gap Analysis of Sorghum and Pearl Millet in India Using Simulation Modeling:Global Theme on AgroecosystemsReport no. 37 uri icon


  • Sorghum and pearl millet are the staple cereals and important source of fodder for animals in the semi-arid and arid parts of India. In the present study, we have: a) characterized the distribution of sorghum and pearl millet in different production zones in India; b) estimated their rainfed potential, achievable and current levels of farmers? yields; c) quantified the gaps between farmers? yields and rainfed potential yields; and d) suggested ways to abridge the yield gaps. Using CERES-sorghum and CERES-pearl millet crop growth models and historical weather data, rainfed potential yields and water balance of sorghum (kharif and rabi) and pearl millet were estimated for selected locations in different production zones. Simulated yields were supplemented with the research station yields of rainfed trials and yields of frontline demonstrations, both obtained from the reports of the All India Coordinated Crop Improvement Projects on Sorghum and Pearl Millet. District level yields were considered as farmers? yields. Based on these data, the yield gaps at various management levels were estimated. The farmers? average yield was 970 kg ha-1 for kharif sorghum, 590 kg ha-1 for rabi sorghum and 990 kg ha-1 for pearl millet. Simulated rainfed potential yield in different production zones ranged from 3210 to 3410 kg ha-1 for kharif sorghum, 1000 to 1360 kg ha-1 for rabi sorghum and 1430 to 2090 kg ha-1 for pearl millet. Total yield gap (simulated rainfed potential yield - farmers? yield) in production zones ranged from 2130 to 2560 kg ha-1 for kharif sorghum, 280 to 830 kg ha-1 for rabi sorghum and 680 to 1040 kg ha-1 for pearl millet. This indicates that productivity of kharif sorghum can be increased 3.0 to 4.0 times, rabi sorghum 1.4 to 2.7 times and pearl millet 1.8 to 2.3 times from their current levels of productivity. To abridge the yield gaps of sorghum and pearl millet, integrated watershed-based approach encompassing harvesting of excess rainfall for supplemental irrigation, growing high yielding crop cultivars, integrated nutrient management and integrated pest and disease management would be required. Value addition of products and their multiple uses are necessary to make them more remunerative for the farmers

publication date

  • 2007