The project to produce ethanol from sweet sorghum undertaken by the International Crops Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Rusni Distilleries, both of India had achieved a breakthrough in their first production of ethanol flowing out the distillery.
The production itself works a milestone in the partnership project. It has generated ethanol as biofuel.
The stems of sorghum yield sweet juice that could be processed into bioethanol which could be added to gasoline.
The production of ethanol does not compromise food security since the farmers can continue to use the grain for food.
The juice could also be made into syrup, wine and vinegar. The grains can be milled and made into a variety of delicacies.
Whole grains can be fed and milled as ingredient in commercial feeds for livestock and poultry. This also serves an additional income to farmers who are looking for a crop that will grow well in drought prone areas.
Growing sweet sorghum has its distinct advantage over other crops which yield bioethanol such as sugar cane and yellow corn.
The crop that is grown from seed can be harvested in one hundred to hundred ten days, whereas, sugar cane is harvestable only after ten to twelve months from planting.
In comparison to hybrid corn, growing sweet sorghum requires less investment, a hectare requires only six kilos of seeds worth much less than that of yellow corn usually costs more per hectare.
Sweet sorghum success on crop breeding will soon help overcome the problem of getting it available throughout the year.
Through breeding research, they have developed hybrids that can be planted at any time of the year, thus solving the problem of planting sweet sorghum only during its crop season.
Sweet sorghum is also noted as a carbon neutral crop, meaning that the amount of carbon dioxide that it fixes during its growing period is equal to the amount it emits during crop growth, conversion of ethanol and combustion of ethanol.
The first batch of ethanol production, it makes available the crop and technology, necessary to launch a global pro poor biofuel revolution.