Knowledge for Development

Baseline survey on factors affecting sorghum production and use in Eastern Kenya


Date: 28/07/2014


In Kenya, sorghum is grown in the often drought-prone marginal agricultural areas of Eastern, Nyanza and Coast Provinces. Given its C4 photosynthetic nature, extensive root system, waxy leaves and ability to halt growth in periods of drought, the crop is well adapted to low lands that have higher temperatures, and are prone to drought and flooding. Sorghum, which is closely related to maize in utilisation, therefore, could be an alternative staple food crop in arid areas prone to drought. As an indigenous crop, sorghum could provide food security in eastern Kenya, although production and yields are still low. Most farmers still choose maize, despite frequent crop failures. Socio-economic factors affecting sorghum production and the local farming system are considered, including landraces, source of seed, traits preference, maturity period, cultural practices, pre and post-harvest handling and utilisation.    

(African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 2013)

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