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Sorghum is scientifically called sorghum bicolor belongs to Grasses family. Among the different kinds of cereal crops in India, Sorghum has a prominence role. Jowar, the Indian name for Sorghum, is the staple food for rural people across the world.

Sorghum is believed to have originated in Ethiopia thousands of year ago. During the first millennium, sorghum was taken from South Africa to India. The grain’s colour is white, pink, yellow or brownish-yellow.

Jowar is a common staple food. It is consumed as pappad, cookies, popped jowar etc. Its green leaves and stalks are used as fodder for animals.

Jowar is also used as poultry feed in poultry industries. Sorghum is a raw material for ethanol, jaggery, syrup, spirit and starch. The whole plant is used for forage, hay or silage.


Jowar is the second highest cultivatable grain in India after wheat. It is grown as Kharif crop and Rabi crop from the month of October to February. Sorghum yields best on deep, fertile, well-drained loamy soils. Major varieties of the commodity are CSH-5, SURAT-1, CSH-10,CSV-13, CO-26, CSH-14 etc. Several jowar varieties have been developed for different climatic conditions in India.

After Wheat, Maize, Rice and Barley, Sorghum is the most essential cereal crop in the world. It is an intense drought resistant grain and thus Sorghum is mainly cultivated in the arid and semi-arid regions.

Sorghum is said to be cultivated in some 100 countries. Total global consumption of sorghum is around 58 million tons. United States of America, the largest producer of sorghum, dominates in the commodity’s global trade.

In India, Maharashtra is the largest producer of Jowar, followed by Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana.

Apart from the United States, other major sorghum producing countries are Mexico, Nigeria, Sudan, India, Ethiopia, Argentina, China, Australia and Brazil.

Major sorghum exporting countries are the US, Argentina, Australia, Ukraine, Nigeria, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Brazil and South Africa.

China is the largest importer of Jowar, followed by Japan, Mexico, European union, Chile, Kenya, Sudan, Taiwan, Ethiopia and Pakistan.

Local sorghum trading hubs in India are:

Telangana (Khammam, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Ranga Reddy)

Andhra Pradesh (Ananthapur, Kurnool)

Delhi

Uttar Pradesh (Bagpat, Banda, Bulandshahr, Fatehpur, Guatam Budg Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hamirpur, Hardoi, Jalaun, Kanpur Nagar, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Sitapur)

Chhattisgarh (Bastar)

Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Anand, Banaskantha, Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Dahod, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Kutch, Navsari, Panchmahal, Patan, Rajkot, Sabarkantha, Surendra nagar, Surat, Vadodara)

Jharkhand (Dumka)

Karnataka (Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bellary, Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagaluru, Davangere, Gadag, Gulbarga, Kolar, Koppal, Mysore, Raichur, Uttara Kannada)

Madhya Pradesh (Dewas, Shajapur)

Maharashtra (Ahmednagar, Amravati, Aurangabad, Beed, Dhule, Hingoli, Jalgaon, Jalna, Kolhapur, Latur, Nanded, Nasik, Nandurbar, Osamanabad, Parbhani, Pune, Sangli, Satara, Solapur, Thane)

Rajasthan (Ajmer, Bhilwara, Pali, Rajsamand)

Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Theni).


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