Four years after its introduction into the country by an India-based research center and jumpstarting R&D initiatives on the crop, sweet sorghum holds true to its promise as the best source of feedstock for ethanol production. And such claim will be further reinforced as project leaders, designated focal persons for sweet sorghum, experts, technical coordinators and evaluators and members of the stakeholders gather for the “First National Review of BAR-Funded Projects on Sweet Sorghum” on 6-7 October 2009 at the Fernando H. Lopez Hall, BSWM.
“Sweet sorghum is a promising feedstock for bio-ethanol production in the Philippines that answers both for the country’s food and energy security. Not mainly for ethanol production, its grains can also be used as food, beverage, and feed, whereas the leaves can be used for fodder. Its stem contains high amount of sugar which can be extracted by simple milling and fermented to bioethanol,” explained Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).
BAR is conducting the national review to consolidate current efforts and activities on sweet sorghum in the Philippines, particularly R&D, as well as provide relevant information on the adaptability of the crops in the regions and its other prospects as a multi-purpose crop. On the policy side, BAR hopes that with this activity, the sector is able to develop a framework for RDE on sweet sorghum and formulate plans for immediate and long-term activities to hasten its full utilization in the country.