Giant King Grass: A Promising Renewable Era

Giant King Grass

It is carbon neutral and  also named as Napier Grass, Elephant Grass Photosynthesis converts solar energy and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into plant material (biomass). Burning plant material in a power plant releases the carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, but it is reabsorbed again when the next crop grows making it carbon neutral.

Giant King Grass is conceived as a viable alternative and long term solution for Biomass Power Plants.

  • It is a natural hybrid of Pennisetum Purpura.
  • It is not genetically modified.
  • It is widely adaptive and stress resistant.
  • It is basically a weed and also can be used for fertilizer.
  • Normally no pesticide is used for Giant King Grass.



Characteristics of Giant King Grass

Important characteristics of Giant King Grass are as follow,

  • It is rapidly growth grass of 4m of height.
  • It is perennial grass with 7 years of life.
  • Frost have the worst attack on the grass, kill the top of the Grass.
  • Growth of Giant King Grass reduced at Temperature of 10’C.
  • Roots can survived and propagated by division or seedlings.
  • Also used as fodder for Cows, Sheep’s, and Goats
  • This crop is best for tropical and sub-tropical area.
  • Giant King Grass required 100 days of sun-shine every year.
  • 750-800mm of water or irrigation is required for this crop.
  • It is very high productive grass, up to 350 tone/hectares.
  • By Giant King Grass, 3-4 harvest per year is possible
  • Suitable for wide range of soil including acidic, red loam and mildly saline soil.
  • Can be planted on dry land, hilly areas , agriculture fields, and plains
  • Napier grass is fed green to livestock.
  • Excess green feed can be preserved in the form of silage.


Advantages of Napier Grass

  • Best fodder crop for animals.
  • It may help to clean the environment with reduced carbon emissions.
  • Very good heat value (<3800 kcals/kg at 26% moisture & less ash contents (<9%).
  • Can grow on marginal land, less water and tropical climate as well.
  • Once cultivated, keep growing for next 6-7 years. Harvesting can be done repeatedly after every 3 months.
  • Renewable and locally produces as noon food energy crop.


Global Trend to Biomass Power Generation:

On Global level, Giant King Grass is known as famous Biomass replacing Coal in most of the Power Plan.

  • First energy in Ohio, USA is converting an old coal-fired plant to 100% Biomass.
  • Dragon Power in china has built and operation 90-100% biomass power plants.
  • Biomass can provide electricity 24 hours a day.
  • Napier Grass is reliable with constant quality.
  • Agriculture waste such as husk, wheat straw and other agriculture trash is currently used for fuel, however quality and quantity of agriculture wastes varies with the season.
  • Dedicated energy crops are desired for power plant fuel requirements


Planting Techniques of Napier Grass:

Best planting techniques are as follow,

  • Conventional Method:
    – Plough and harrow the field well before planting.
    – Dig planting holes 15-12 cm deep, or spacing.
    In each hole apply
    – Two handfuls of farmyard manure (FYM) or
    – A soda bottle full of DAP or
    – Both a handful of FYM and 1/2 soda bottle top of DAP
    – Place 3 nodes piece of cane ensuring two nodes are covered or
    – Place a root split of Napier planting material in the hole
    – Cover the planted material with soil
    – Inter-crop with food crops or forage legumes.


  • Tumbukiza technology
    – Plough and harrow the field well.
    – Dig pits with spacing of 60x 60 cm or 60 cm x 90 or 90 x 90 cm depending on moisture regime.
    – Mix 1 depe (20 liter tin) of top soil with 1 0r 2 depes of FYM.
    – Put the soil-farmyard manure into the pit leaving 1 cm space at the brim.
    – Plant 5-10 cuttings/canes/root splits per hole.

Screenshot (561)

For Round Pits 

  • Where land pressure and rainfall are both high.
    – Dig pits 60 cm in diameter and 60 cm deep.
    – The rows of pits should be 60 cm apart.
  • Where land pressure and rainfall are both low.
    – Dig pits 60-90 cm in diameter and 60-90 cm deep.
    – The rows of pits should be 1 meter apart.
    -Thus wider pit spacing where moisture is low.

Rectangular Pits 

  • Where land pressure and rainfall are both high.
    – Dig pits 60 cm deep, 60-90 cm wide.
    -Length of the pit can vary depending on the available of land.
    – The pit should be 1 m apart.
  • Where land pressure and rainfall are both low.
    – Dig pits 60-90 cm wide or in diameter and 60-90 cm deep.
    – The rows of pits should be 1 meter apart.
    – Separate top soil from sub-soil.
    – Plant 5-10 cuttings/canes or single root splits for every 1 meter length.
    Use top-soil-manure mixture or fertilizer.

 Screenshot (562)


  • Napier grass can be inter-cropped with forage legumes in both methods of planting.
  • The legumes to be inter-cropped with Napier grass include disodium, stylosanthes and Macrotyloma axillace.
  • When intercropping under the conventional method, make furrows along the Napier grass lines or in between rows and drill desmodium seed at a seed rate of 3 kg/ha, mixed with 40 to 60 kg P205 ha-1 .
  • In the tumbukiza method drill desmodium seed in between the tumbukiza holes



  • Harvest napier grass and Desmodium at 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) high.
  • Leave a stem length of 4 inches (10 cm) from the ground at harvesting.
  • Chop the harvested Napier grass and Desmodium to reduce wastage while feeding it to the animals.
  • Regrowth can be harvested when it reaches 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) high which means a period of 6-8 weeks between cuts.


Giant King grass is getting heat in a number of countries and strides are being made to deploy it as an alternative energy to baggase and as a primary food ingredient for dairy domain.



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