Read full article By Antony Gitonga @ Farm Kenya Photo Credit: Farm Kenya
The directive by the government that all flour should be blended with sorghum as measures to address food nutrition requirements has pushed up demand for the cereal.
This has forced the country to import the cereal from neighboring countries of Uganda and Tanzania with local farmers unable to meet the rising demand.
This is against a demand of 270,000 metric tonnes as consumers shifted from overreliance on maize as the country’s main staple food.
KALRO Director-General Eliud Kireger noted that the country had the potential of increasing sorghum production through improved farming.
According to him, the research institution had already developed a variety that had the capability of producing eight tonnes per hectare from the current 0.9 tonnes.
“Currently the country is producing 206,000 metric tonnes of sorghum worth Sh4b annually and this can increase by using the new variety released by KARLO,” he said.
Speaking in Naivasha, Kireger lauded the directive that all flour in the country be blended noting that this had led to high demand for the cereals.
“The government has directed all millers to make sure that their maize and wheat flour is blended with sorghum and this will increase its demand and address nutrition,” he said.
He added that KALRO was using sorghum to produce aflasafe, a fungus that biologically controlled aflatoxin in maize.
“We have currently placed an order of 80,000 metric tonnes for use in the production of aflasafe and we want farmers to benefit from this,” he said.