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Sorghum, also known as jowar, is a cereal grain that belongs to the grass family Poaceae. It's cultivated primarily for its grain, which is used as food for humans and animals. Sorghum is one of the top cereal crops worldwide, particularly in regions with semi-arid and tropical climates, where it thrives due to its drought tolerance. Jowar is a staple food in many parts of the world, especially in India, where it's used to make various dishes like roti (flatbread), porridge, and snacks. It's gluten-free and rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, making it a valuable food source in areas where other crops might struggle to grow. Additionally, sorghum is also used to produce alcoholic beverages and as animal feed.

Sorghum, known by its scientific name Sorghum bicolor, is a versatile cereal grain that goes by many names around the world. In India, it's commonly referred to as "jowar." Here's a detailed overview of sorghum, including its characteristics, cultivation, uses, and nutritional benefits:

Characteristics and Cultivation:
1. Botanical Description: Sorghum is a tall, annual grass with sturdy stems that can reach heights of up to 8-12 feet (2.4-3.7 meters). It produces large, elongated seed heads called panicles, which contain the edible grains.
2. Adaptability: Sorghum is well-adapted to a wide range of climates, from arid to semi-arid regions. It's particularly known for its drought tolerance, making it a crucial crop in regions prone to water scarcity.
3. Variety: There are many varieties of sorghum cultivated worldwide, differing in size, color, and intended use. Some varieties are specifically for grain production, while others are used for forage or industrial purposes.
4. Cultivation: Sorghum is typically grown as a rain-fed crop, although it can also be irrigated in areas with access to water. It's sown directly into the soil, either broadcast or in rows, depending on the farming practices and equipment available.
5. Harvesting: Sorghum grains mature within 70-120 days after planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Harvesting is usually done when the grains are fully mature and have dried on the plant. The panicles are harvested and threshed to separate the grains from the rest of the plant material.

  • Nutritional Benefits:
    1. Carbohydrates: Sorghum is a rich source of carbohydrates, providing energy for the body.
    2. Protein: It contains a moderate amount of protein, making it a valuable dietary component, especially in vegetarian and vegan diets.
    3. Fiber: Sorghum is high in dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
    4. Vitamins and Minerals: It contains various vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as niacin and thiamine), iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
    5.Antioxidants: Sorghum contains antioxidants like phenolic compounds, which have been linked to various health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
    Sorghum, or jowar, is a nutritious and versatile cereal grain with a wide range of culinary, agricultural, and nutritional uses.

  • Uses and Culinary Importance:
    1. Food: Sorghum grains are a staple food in many parts of the India, including Karnataka ,Rajastan ,Maharastra,AndraPradesh,etc. Jowar is ground into flour and used to make various traditional dishes like roti (flatbread), bhakri, dosa, idli, and porridge.
    2. Gluten-Free Alternative: One of the significant advantages of sorghum is that it's naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Sorghum flour can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free baking.
    3. Beverages: Sorghum is used to produce alcoholic beverages like beer, particularly in India. Traditional African beers like "pito" and "tella" are brewed from sorghum.
    4. Animal Feed:Sorghum is an important component of animal feed, particularly for livestock like poultry, cattle. It provides essential nutrients and energy for growth.