Kenya farmers turn to sorghum for food security

The country has successfully developed drought-resilient sorghum

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 23 February 2015

A woman inspects a crop of sorghum in Kenya (Photo: Greenpeace)

Farmers in eastern Kenya’s Wote are gradually shifting from growing maize to sorghum. The reason they say for the shift is higher nutrition, yield per hectare and price. The farmers believe that the shift can work wonders in the area where just two per cent families are food secure round the year.

The confident farmers are betting on an indigenous sorghum variety that has been developed by the Kenyan government. The variety, so far used by 3666 farmers in Wote, is drought resistant.

“Sorghum adapts well to a wide range of environmental and soil fertility conditions and is considered to be one of the “climate-change ready” crops. Also, sorghum and legume cropping systems have inherent resilience to drought and therefore enhance food and nutrition security for households in the drylands,” says Patrick Sheunda, research assistant at ICRISAT—the government body that is sourcing the variety to the famers.

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