The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) director-general William Dartor and the managing director of Tata Chemicals Ltd (TCL) Homi R Khusrokhan signed the MOA in Hyderabad.
According to Dar this partnership will go a long way in enhancing the commercialization of sweet sorghum for bioethanol production. Production of ethanol from sweet sorghum as a biofuel can provide additional income to dryland farmers and does not compromise their food security.
Through the ICRISAT Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Research Consortium (SSERC), the Institute promotes the technology for producing the biofuel through public-private partnership.
TCL is today a leading manufacturer of inorganic chemicals, fertilizers and food additives. The company has an annual turnover of about $ 1.5 billion and is part of the $ 28.8 billion Tata Group, India's foremost business conglomerate. Recently TCL has entered biofuels production and is setting up a plant in Nanded, Maharashtra, for manufacture of bioethanol from sweet sorghum.
Through the MoA, TCL can now avail the sweet sorghum research outputs of ICRISAT. This includes supply of seeds of sweet sorghum varieties and hybrids along with technical know-how on sweet sorghum cultivation aspects.
Khusrokhan said that he was very happy that TCL had joined the consortium and was very impressed by the wonderful developmental work done by ICRISAT all around the world.
It is envisaged that there is a huge global opportunity for all partners to work together to benefit millions of farmers by offering new market opportunities through this new venture, he said.