Asesh Kumar Ghorai
Zero Till Water Use Efficient Rabi Sorghum ( Sorghum bicolour L. Moench), an Effective Alternative to Water Guzzling Summer Rice (Oryza sativa), under Changing Climatic Scenario
As temperature rises, the yields of food and cash crops in South Asia are expected to decline, putting pressure on food security in the region. India, home to 1.4 billion people, is ranked 101 out of 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index, indicating a serious problem. Scientists and researchers project that a 2.5 to 4.9 degrees Celsius increase in temperature across the country could lead to a decrease of 41%-52% in the wheat yield, and 32%-40% in rice. Under changing climate condition, hybrid sorghum is an effective solution towards food security, which can withstand high temperature and grow with less water over water guzzling summer rice. It has versatile utility as food grains, feed, fodder, and important feed stock for first-generation bio fuel or bio ethanol production. Zero till hybrid sorghum cultivar CSH 14, CSH 16 and CSH 23 were sown after Kharif rice in jute-rice-Rabi sorghum sequence, in winter, on 1st January 2010. The crop matured with 52.5 cm irrigation water at 120 days (30th April) and consumed 7 irrigations, 7.5 cm each. Highest sorghum grain yield was obtained from cv. CSH 14 i.e., 6.5 tonnes/ha. Its water productivity was high, 808 litre water/kg grain whereas for summer rice with same productivity (6.5t/ha) the water productivity was low, 2308 litre water/kg rice grain (irrigation requirement 150 cm). Thus with same water, the area under sorghum will be thrice over summer rice. Gross return from hybrid sorghum was Rs.193050/ha over Rs. 132600/ha from summer rice. Rabi sorghum saved 65% (97.5 cm/ha) irrigation water which is drawn from ground water only. From 6.5 t sorghum grain approximately 2470 litre ethanol can be produced/ha which is used as bio fuel. Replacement of summer rice by profitable drought resistant Rabi sorghum will ensure food security under changing climatic scenario and maintain sustainable ground water position in traditional rice growing belts.
Hybrid sorghum, yield, water productivity, bio ethanol, economics
Cite this paper
Asesh Kumar Ghorai. (2022) Zero Till Water Use Efficient Rabi Sorghum ( Sorghum bicolour L. Moench), an Effective Alternative to Water Guzzling Summer Rice (Oryza sativa), under Changing Climatic Scenario. International Journal of Agricultural Science, 7, 108-114