Sweet sorghum for Bicol Region
() - December 23, 2007 - 12:00am

Sweet sorghum, now touted as a potential source of ethanol for biofuels production, can thrive in the Bicol Region.

This is attested by results of a study titled “Sweet sorghum technology evaluation and commercialization program in Bicol Region.”

The project is a collaborative undertaking of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), and DA-Bicol Integrated Agricultural  Research Center (BIARC).

It is an expansion of the program on sweet sorghum varietal testing of BAR and MMSU, a multi-campus university in Ilocos Norte.

The project at MMSU was started two years ago with the support (particularly seeds) provided by the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) headed by former Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar.

Initial results showed that five sweet sorghum varieties (SPV-422, NTJ-2, ICSV-93034, ICSV-700, and ICSV-93-46) have been found to suit Philippine conditions, as found at  MMSU, and are thus ready for commercialization and varietal testing in other regions.

BIARC, headed by Dr. Elena de los Santos, was the fist to do the varietal testing among the other regions.

Preliminary results showed that stalks production, grain yield, and sugar content were highest in SPV-422 as compared to the other varieties.

Aside from ethanol, products that can be derived from sweet sorghum are wine, vinegar, jaggery (brown sugar), syrup, cookies, pops, flour, livestock feed, and organic fertilizer. — RAF

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY WILLIAM D BICOL REGION DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH DR. ELENA ILOCOS NORTE INTERNATIONAL CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE PLACENAME
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