Utilization and Processing of Sorghum by Small Holder Farmers in Drought Prone Agro-ecological Zones of Kenya

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Abdiaziz Beinah
Catherine Kunyanga
Kahiu Ngugi

Abstract

Sorghum is an under-utilized crop and one of the most important cereal crops in semi-arid tropics. In Kenya, sorghum is grown in the often drought prone marginal agricultural areas of Eastern, Nyanza and Coast regions where there are many biotic and abiotic constraints that reduce its productivity. The aim of the present study was to assess the current utilization and processing practices by small holder farmers. Makueni County, a representative of drought prone areas situated in agro-ecological zone was selected since sorghum is a widely cultivated crop and the region has organized formally registered farmer groups. Key informant interviews (20), household survey questionnaires (300) and focus group discussions (12) with the farmers were conducted to gather data on sorghum production, challenges in production consumption and utilization, processing technology and market access. Key informant interviews (20), household survey questionnaires (300) and focus group discussions (12) with the farmers were conducted to gather data on sorghum production, challenges in production consumption and utilization, processing technology and market access. The main uses of sorghum include: Stiff porridge (ugali) (37.6%), thin porridge (uji) (35.2%), fried dough (mandazi) (3.1%), flat bread (chapatti) (2.6%),githeri(sorghum mixed with legumes) (8.0%), sorghum cake (1.2%), beverage (sorghum tea) (0.8%) and animal feed (8.5%). The greatest challenges that hinders utilization and limits processing of sorghum and value addition were lack of markets (12.3%), low volumes of production due to low productivity (3.5%), lack of capital (4.6%), pest and diseases (38.2%), lack of farm equipment (24.6%) and lack of processing knowledge (16.8%). This work recommended that more farmers training on sorghum value addition be conducted to create awareness on sorghum products utilization and to link the products to the markets.

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How to Cite
Beinah, A., Kunyanga, C., & Ngugi, K. (2020). Utilization and Processing of Sorghum by Small Holder Farmers in Drought Prone Agro-ecological Zones of Kenya . Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(10), 116-121. https://doi.org/10.14738/assrj.710.8540
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