Nigeria strategises ways to rank first in global Sorghum production


By Nneka Nwogwugwu

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with stakeholders in agriculture have strategized ways Nigeria can rank first in global Sorghum production.

Daily Times reports that Nigeria is the world’s third-largest producer of Sorghum after the United States and India.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono met with stakeholders at the Hajiya Amina Women Development Centre, Bauchi State over the weekend, to discuss on the theme ‘’ Streamlining Existing Sorghum Varieties, Commercialisation and Product Development of Sorghum in Nigeria”.

Nanono represented by the ministry’s Zonal Director, North-East, Dr Musa Inuwa Mohammed, said that the meeting was timely as it will enable an inclusive strategy on how to strengthen and improve on Sorghum value chain for increased productivity and production to assist in tackling the threats of food scarcity. The theme of the workshop was on “

According to a statement signed by the Ministry’s Deputy Director of Information, Mrs Eno Olotu on Sunday, Nanono said that the overall policy objective of Sorghum production is to increase productivity and to promote small, medium, and large- scale commercial production of the crop using improved high yielding varieties and hybrids and to promote value addition of the crop as raw materials for the industrial food markets, livestock feeds and highly nutrition well-packaged food products for local and international markets.

The statement reads, “The Federal Government is committed to the promotion of the agricultural sector by unleashing its potential to drive food and nutrition scarcity, economic growth and job creation. According to him, “the ministry is ensuring accelerated Sorghum production and value addition towards self- sufficiency to meet industrial requirements as well as boost farmers income and generate employment in the country.

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‘’The crop has continued to assume great industrial relevance with many multinational companies especially in the brewery industry through the use of Sorghum grits as adjuncts (up to 40%) to barley base (mash) for making alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (Maltina, Maltex, and Amstel Malt).

‘’ Sorghum composite with wheat flour are used to serve as main ingredient in the manufacture of confectionaries such as bread, biscuit, cracker, cakes, couscous, infant foods and cookies.

Others include; Indomie, spaghetti, and macaroni. In the non-food industrial sector, he said, Sorghum as grits are used for aluminum-ore refining, animal feeds, building materials, and in foundry binders.’’

Nanono emphasized that since Sorghum is one of the staple food in most sub-Saharan countries including Nigeria, its production must be strengthened to meet Regional Reserve , World Food Programme as well as local consumption demands minding the advance effects of Covid -19, Boko Haram/ Bandits and flood.

Papers presented at the meeting include: “ Streamlining of Existing Sorghum Varieties to Meet Industrial Demand” by the Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research, (IAR) , Zaria, Prof M. Ishiyaku and “ Supporting the Rural Farmers and Smallholders for Jobs and and Wealth Creation”, by Dr Yusuf Oseni, of the Department of Economics, presented by Dr Sani Abdullahi.

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