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Sweet Sorghum : an alternative energy crop

Objective

Increasing world market prices for fossil fuels, driven by limited reserves, growing demand and instability in producing regions, now render renewable fuels economical. Such fuels are also a pathway to reducing GHG emissions and mitigating climate change. Bio-ethanol from crop plants is a promising, partial solution to sustainably satisfy the energy demand for road transport. The success of bio-ethanol from sugarcane in Brazil demonstrates proof of concept but cannot be transferred to water-limited or temperate environments. Sweet sorghum, as a source of either fermentable free sugars or lignocellulosics, has many potential advantages, including: high water, nitrogen and radiation use efficiency; broad agro-ecological adaptation; rich genetic diversity for useful traits; and the potential to produce fuel feedstock, food and feed in various combinations. Fuel-food crops can thereby help reconciling energy and food security issues. This project will breed for improved cultivars and hybrids of sorghum for temperate, tropical semi-arid and tropical acid-soil environments by pyramiding in various combinations, depending on region and ideotype, tolerance to cold, drought and acid (Al-toxic) soils; and high production of stalk sugars, easily digestible biomass and grain (WP 1-3). Molecular-genetic and physiological breeding support is given by WP4, and agro-ecological adaptation and sustainable practices are developed by WP5. Other WPs (6, 7, 8) provide for integrated technology and impact assessments including economics, dissemination and coordination. The Consortium is composed of 10 members from France (leader), Italy, Germany, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa, including a seed company. Research involves structured participation of stake holders, including policy makers. Project outcomes will be new germplasm, sustainable practices and commodity chain concepts adapted to each target region. The duration of the project is 5 years.

Call for proposal

FP7-KBBE-2008-2B
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Funding Scheme

CP-SICA - Collaborative project for specific cooperation actions dedicated to international cooperation partner countries (SICA)

Coordinator

CENTRE DE COOPERATION INTERNATIONALE EN RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE POUR LEDEVELOPPEMENT - C.I.R.A.D. EPIC
Address
Rue Scheffer 42
75016 Paris
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 506 825
Administrative Contact
Daniel Sannie (Mr.)

Participants (9)

INTERNATIONAL CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR THE SEMI-ARID TROPICS
India
EU contribution
€ 382 500
Address
N/a
502 324 Andhra Pradesh
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Rajesh Agrawal (Dr.)
EMPRESA BRASILEIRA DE PESQUISA AGROPECUARIA EMBRAPA
Brazil
EU contribution
€ 374 050
Address
Prq Estacao Biologica Pqeb Edificio Sede Plano Piloto
70770901 Brasilia
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Robert Schaffert (Dr.)
KWS SAAT SE & CO KGAA
Germany
EU contribution
€ 263 500
Address
Grimsehlstrasse 31
37574 Einbeck
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Robert Heidhues (Mr.)
IFEU - INSTITUT FUR ENERGIE- UND UMWELTFORSCHUNG HEIDELBERG GGMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 347 800
Address
Wilckensstrasse 3
69120 Heidelberg
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Guido Reinhardt (Dr.)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 268 250
Address
Via Zamboni 33
40126 Bologna
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Andrea Monti (Dr.)
UNIVERSITA CATTOLICA DEL SACRO CUORE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 253 250
Address
Largo Gemelli 1
20123 Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Libero Ranelli (Dr.)
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL INSTITUTE FOR SOIL CLIMATE AND WATER
South Africa
EU contribution
€ 206 375
Address
Belvedere Street 600
0001 Pretoria
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Piet Van Der Merwe (Dr.)
Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon
Mexico
EU contribution
€ 187 250
Address
Av. Universidad S/n
66428 San Nicolas De Los Garza
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Nora Luisa Salas De La Rosa (Ms.)
WIRTSCHAFT UND INFRASTRUKTUR GMBH & CO PLANUNGS KG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 178 175
Address
Sylvensteinstrasse 2
81369 Muenchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Christine Meyer-Haege (Ms.)