Sorghum and pearl millet as food-feed-crops in India
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Hall, A.J., Blummel, M., Thorpe, W., Bidinger, F.R. and Hash, C.T. 2004. Sorghum and pearl millet as food-feed-crops in India. Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology 4(1):1-15
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/3603
This paper reviews the role of and demand for food-feed-crops — crops that are grown to provide both grain for human food and crop residues as fodder for ruminant livestock. The paper argues that the predicted increase in demand for livestock products will coincide with shrinking common property resources and an increasing scarcity of arable land and water resulting in an increase in the importance of food-feed-crops smallholder crop- ruminant livestock systems. As a consequence, the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and the International Livestock Research Institute have implemented collaborative research on the genetic improvement of fodder value of food-feed-crops, with emphasis on sorghum and pearl millet, which are important crops for the rural poor. The research has demonstrated the existence of significant genetic variation for fodder quality traits and it has identified cultivars that provide superior stover quality and quantity without detriment to grain yield. Initial estimates of heritability of pertinent stover quality traits were in the order of 0.7 suggesting good opportunities for further improvement of stover quality by genetic enhancement. However, certain socio-economic conditions need to be met for large-scale uptake of new varieties and hybrids.