FG, stakeholders strategise to boost sorghum production
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has met with stakeholders to streamline the cultivation of approved varieties of sorghum in Nigeria in order to make global impact.
Eno Olotu, deputy director of information in the ministry, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, said it was in line with the Federal Government’s sustained effort to increase productivity in the sorghum value chain.
Nigeria is the world’s third-largest producer of sorghum, after the US and India.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Bauchi, Muhammad Nanono, minister of agriculture, said the meeting would come up with an inclusive strategy on how to strengthen and improve sorghum value chain for increased productivity.
He said this would assist in tackling threats posed by food scarcity.
Nanono was represented by the ministry’s zonal director, North-East, Musa Mohammed.
The theme of the workshop was “Streamlining existing sorghum varieties, commercialisation and product development of sorghum in Nigeria”.
The minister said the overall policy objective of sorghum production was to increase the productivity and to promote small, medium, and large-scale commercial production of the crop using improved high-yielding varieties and hybrids.
He also said the objective was to promote the 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 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.
“The ministry is ensuring accelerated sorghum production and value addition toward self-sufficiency to meet industrial requirements, as well as boost farmers’ income and generate employment in the country,” he said.
The minister pointed out that the initiative was a collaborative effort with stakeholders.
He said the crop had continued to assume great industrial relevance with many multinational companies, especially in the brewery industry, where sorghum grits constitute up to 40 percent of the raw materials.
He explained sorghum is also a major ingredient in the manufacture of confectionery such as bread, biscuits, cakes, and baby formula.
Nanono emphasised that since sorghum was one of the staple foods in most sub-Saharan countries, including Nigeria, its production must be strengthened to meet local demand and regional reserves.