Sorghum production in Nigeria: opportunities, constraints, and recommendations

Yahaya, Muhammad Ahmad
Shimelis, Hussein
Nebie, Baloua
Ojiewo, Chris O.
Danso-Abbeam, Gideon
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Taylor & Francis Group - Informa UK Limited
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench) production has considerable socio-economic values in sub-Saharan Africa for food security and to serve the increased industrial demands due to high population pressure and climate change. However, the production and productivity of the crop are yet to be expounded in Nigeria for economic gains. Therefore, the objective of this study was to present the current opportunities and constraints to sorghum production in Nigeria. A participatory rural appraisal (PRA) study was conducted in three selected sorghum growing zones in northern Nigeria involving 250 farmers. Socio-economic data were collected through surveys and focus group discussions. Sorghum was cultivated mainly by males (80%) who had grade 6-12 level of education (31.3%), with the productive age of 21-45 years (75.7%) and a household family size of below five members (52.3%). Low yielding landrace varieties such as Kaura (37.4%) and Fara-fara (29.3%) were the most widely cultivated types across the study zones due to their good grain quality. The major farmers’ preferred traits from a sorghum variety were high yield, drought tolerance and Striga resistance. The study recommends integrated sorghum technology development incorporating the described preferences of the farmers for sustainable production and economic gains of the crop.
Acknowledgements: Farmers in the study areas and enumerators are sincerely thanked for making the survey possible. Thanks are due to the Institute for Agricultural Research Samaru, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria for giving study leave to the first author and African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) South Africa for providing technical support. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, 2022, available online at: . © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been corrected with minor changes. These changes do not impact the academic content of the article. Keywords: Crop management; drought tolerance; farmer-preferred traits; focus group discussion; Northern Nigeria; PRA; sorghum production; Striga infestation; Africa; Sahel; Sub-Saharan; semi-arid; arid.
Muhammad Ahmad Yahaya, Hussein Shimelis, Baloua Nebie, Chris O. Ojiewo & Gideon Danso-Abbeam (2022) Sorghum production in Nigeria: opportunities, constraints, and recommendations, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, 72:1, 660-672, DOI: 10.1080/09064710.2022.2047771