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UKAID Department for International Development (R4D) 1999

Review of Technical and Institutional Options for Sorghum Grain Mould Management and the Potential Impact on the Poor

Sorghum Mould Management

UKAID Department for International Development (R4D)

Titre : Review of Technical and Institutional Options for Sorghum Grain Mould Management and the Potential Impact on the Poor

Pays : Countries : India, Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania Geographic Area : Andhra Pradesh

Projet de recherche pour le Développement : R47506

DFID Programme : Crop Protection

Organismes de mise en œuvre Lead Institutes : International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

Durée : Start Date : 01-12-1999 — End Date : 30-05-2000

Objectifs  : To assess the potential for developing integrated pre- and post-harvest strategies for sorghum grain mould management in the semi-arid tropical production and utilisation systems, and to suggest recommendations to address priority needs.
To provide informed judgements on future strategy for grain mould research in view of the need to achieve tangible impact on the poor in both the short and long term.

Descriptif
The introduction of high-yielding rainy season (kharif) sorghum hybrids in India, over 20 years ago, has led to dramatic increases in grain yield (from 587 kg/ha in 1970 to 1,407 kg/ha in 1996/97). This was accompanied by high levels of adoption (80% of rainy season crops) by farmers in the major sorghum growing state, Maharashtra. Despite this achievement, hybrid rainy season sorghum grains suffer from infection, and colonisation by several fungi, towards the end of the growing season, often associated with late rains. This infection results in mouldy growth, often referred to as ,blackening,. Fungi implicated are Fusarium moniliforme, Alternaria alternata and Aspergillus flavus. These fungi have been shown to produce such harmful mycotoxins as zearalenone, fumonisins, aflatoxins, alternaria toxins and ochratoxins. In a recent preliminary study at ICRISAT, ochratoxin exceeding 300 g/kg level was detected in 6 of 14 sorghum grain samples, intended for incorporation as one of the ingredients of chicken feed, by a feed company. Furthermore, studies indicate that mouldy grain sells at a price discounted by up to 40%, compared to healthy grain. Several approaches to control grain mould have been attempted. These include fungicidal control, and integrating adjustments to sowing dates with high-yielding and relatively less susceptible hybrids. However, disease control through input and management intensive approaches have been found to be incompatible with the resource endowments of farmers, and their complex cropping strategies . Efforts to produce sorghum genotypes with tolerance to grain mould by conventional breeding methods have yielded partially successful results. However, a high degree of resistance could not be incorporated. The tolerance is operative only under moderate disease pressure. Better management of grain mould would have direct and indirect influence on the environment, and food and feed safety. Dependence on non-chemical means would eliminate the need for fungicide in mould management. Sorghum food and feed would be safe for consumption after removal of mycotoxin contamination in grain, thereby improving human and animal health. Opportunities for diversifying sorghum utilisation in the rural sector would offer additional avenues for income generation among rural women. However, industrial effluents arising from increased industrial utilisation of sorghum for brewing and starch production, need attention. Availability of efficient mould management practices will indirectly reduce soil degradation, by offering greater opportunities for cultivating sorghum in deep vertisol fields during the rainy season, when several such fields are left fallow (due to difficulty in sowing sorghum in soggy fields) favouring wind and water erosion. At present, early (dry) sowing of sorghum is not practised, due to lack of adequate mould management practices.

Total Cost to DFID : £43,925

Présentation : Recherche for Development (R4D)

Page publiée le 10 juillet 2021