Agri Business

How a forage sorghum hybrid helping farmers meeting fodder demand

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on September 17, 2019 Published on September 17, 2019

Though India has achieved self sufficiency in food grain production, it is far from achieving the same when it comes to fodder for the livestock.

According to an estimate, the country needs 1,326 million tonnes of fodder annually, which includes 817 million tonnes of green forage and 509 million tonnes of dry fodder respectively. But it is producing only 979 million tonnes of fodder, including 526 million tonnes of green and 453 million tonnes of dry fodder, leaving a huge gap.

A forage hybrid CSH 24 MF developed by GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUA&T) in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand), is helping the farmers in meeting their fodder requirements.

Scientists at the university used Pant Chari-6 as the male parent, and ICSA 467, developed by scientists at the ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics), as the female parent to develop CSH 24.

“It was identified and released in 2009, and after extensive testing across the country, the hybrid has steadily gained popularity among farmers across the nation,” an ICRISAT executive said.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has recognised the hybrid as the Outstanding Forage Hybrid 2019 recently for revolutionising forage sorghum production in the country. “As of today, it occupies almost a third of the total area under forage sorghum in the country,” he said.

“Up to 70 per cent of milk production costs are livestock feed. Therefore, it is critical to develop economical yet nutritious sources of feed. Dual-purpose or fodder crops are among the least expensive sources of nutrients for livestock,” the ICRISAT executive said.

The demand for this hybrid is so high that the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), an ICAR agency, grants licences to 10-12 seed companies each year to produce the seeds. A part of the licence fee is shared with ICRISAT due to its contribution of the female parent.

Published on September 17, 2019
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