Jowar is India's sustainable alternative to wheat in the face of climate challenges. It is more resilient to projected climate changes and also requires less water, said a research paper titled, Climate resilience of dry season cereals in India', published in Nature's Scientific Reports'. (Representative image: DC)
Hyderabad: Jowar is India’s sustainable alternative to wheat in the face of climate challenges. It is more resilient to projected climate changes and also requires less water, said a research paper titled, ‘Climate resilience of dry season cereals in India’, published in ‘Nature’s Scientific Reports’.
The study, carried out by researchers from Columbia University, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Indian School of Business, University of Delaware, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Yale University, and Washington State University, examined the sensitivity of wheat and jowar yields to increases in temperature and compared water requirements under different scenarios.
The research revealed that compared to wheat that is highly sensitive to increases in maximum daily temperature in its multiple stages of growth during the post-monsoon and dry winter seasons, jowar is able to handle increases in temperature with far less impact on yields.
In addition, wheat requires 1.4 times more water than jowar owing to the extension of its growth cycle into summer. The study points out that without pragmatic changes in managing how wheat is cultivated in India, it is likely that the yields may decrease by five per cent coupled with a significant rise in water footprint by 2040. Under the same climatic projections, jowar is India’s best bet with four per cent increase in water footprint.
"Our research highlights the urgent need for climate-smart agricultural interventions, particularly in the Rabi season. The traditionally grown sorghum or jowar emerges as a game changer as it is resilient to projected climate changes and needs significantly less water than wheat," said professor Ashwini Chhatre, co-author of the study and executive director, Indian School of Business.
India, which is the second largest producer of wheat globally after China, exports to Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka, a release said.
- Telangana government to pay Rs 219.92 crore, purchase 65,494 metric tonnes of jowar harvested during the 'Yasangi' season.
- About one lakh farmers cultivate jowar in various districts, including Adilabad, Nirmal, Kamareddy, Medak, Vikarabad, Narayanapet and Gadwal, will benefit.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi hs called millets as ‘Sri Anna’, the best among all foodgrains.