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Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)

Sorghum is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. Grown in over a hundred countries it is the fifth most widely grown cereal crop after wheat, rice, maize, and barley.
Sorghum bicolor

Sorghum bicolor crop

Species information

Scientific name: 

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench

Common name: 

sorghum, milo (English); bachanta (Ethiopia); sorgo (Spanish); durra (Swedish); jowar (India)

Conservation status: 

Widespread in cultivation.


Sorghum is adapted to a wide range of ecological conditions. It is mostly cultivated in hot, dry regions, although it can still survive cool weather as well as waterlogged habitats.

Key Uses: 

Food, livestock feed, hay, silage, building material, firewood, vegetable oil, dyes, medicinal, biofuel.


Genus: Sorghum

About this species

Sorghum is considered the 'camel of the crops', a true testament to its hardiness and ability to grow in dry, nutrient-poor soils and withstand prolonged droughts. It is especially adapted to grow in dry areas but, being so rich in diversity, it also grows well in temperate and high altitude environments. Sorghum is a staple food for more than 500 million people in more than 30 countries. Preserving the genetic diversity of this crop is integral to safeguarding the food security of the people who depend on it.


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