This research into the use of sweet sorghum is dedicated to the late Ms. Evis Mvududu (Lead researcher, Zimbabwe until her tragic death in 2001) and Prof. D.O. Hall who co-ordinated the research activities from 1990 until July 1999. The research is now led by Jeremy Woods who is located in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at Imperial College London's South Kensington Campus.
This research is currently funded through the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and involves the collaboration between Silvae Culture, Themba Technology, the Centre for Energy Efficiency and Engineering Zambia (CEEEZ), and the International Sugar Organisation (ISO, UK).
The current research project, based in Zambia, will evaluate the potential for sweet sorghum as a multi-purpose crop (fuel, fodder, food and fibre) for small-holder production. Three trials will be carried out, one trial in each of the three ecological zones of Zambia, testing sweet sorghum varieties from India and China. This work will be carried out by CEEEZ, Zambia under the direction of Prof. Yamba. Contact Jeremy Woods (see 'people' below) for more details.
The latest information on the current research is given in a presentation by Prof. Yamba and Dr. Muninday (University of Zambia) highlighting the outcomes of the 2004/5 Zambia Sweet Sorghum Trials:
The Integration of Sweet Sorghum with Sugarcane for Ethanol and Electricity Production (PhD Thesis: April 2000)
The Potential for Energy Production Using Sweet Sorghum in Southern Africa (Energy For Sustainable Development V(1):31-38 2001)
The Sweet Sorghum Page on ECOPORT
US Agricultural Research Service - Germplasm Resource Information Network (GRIN)
Indian Research on Sweet Sorghum at the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Station
Sweet Sorghum in China (FAO report on Chinese State-of-the-art)
The aim of the current work is to demonstrate the potential for the use of sweet sorghum in the production of biofuels (ethanol and electricity) using existing commercial sugarcane-based technologies to extend the milling season in sugar mills. It is based on over 15 years of research work into sorghum's growth characteristics in Europe, Asia, and Africa.