Sorghum genetic enhancement for climate change adaptation. uri icon

abstract

  • Sorghum is an important cereal crop widely grown for food, feed, fodder/forage, and fuel in the semi-arid tropics of Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. Though impressive gains have been made in increasing sorghum productivity levels, biotic and abiotic challenges such as grain molds, shoot fly and terminal drought stress continue to haunt sorghum growers globally. Global warming and climate change could affect grain and stover yields in crops, more so in tropical Africa and Asia threatening food supplies and nutritional security. Climate change potentially modifies the length of the growing period across regions, but this can be mitigated by the re-targeting and re-deployment of improved germplasm. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and partners are working on sorghum genetic enhancement to increase grain yield; tolerance to drought and heat, grain mold and shoot fly resistance, and grain micronutrient density (Fe and Zn) to face the newer challenges in sorghum production. On a whole, the negative impacts of climate change can be largely mitigated through greater adoption of improved crop, soil and water management innovations by farmers and better targeted crop improvement programs more explicitly focused on adaptation to climate change

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011