To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

May 23, 2011

New sorghum variety gives hope to Kenyan farmers

by Ebby Nanzala

With the introduction of a new sorghum variety that is drought resistant and contains special carbohydrates ideal for brewers, farmers in Kenya have a chance to maximise their earnings. Certified by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in 1998, Gadam - the new variety, which matures in three months and is able to survive rainfall of between 200 and 800mm in a season - was released for commercial planting in late 2010.

"Farmers with one acre of land under the seed have been able to earn an average of Ksh 120,000 in three months," says Ben Kanyenji, a sorghum breeder with KARI- Embu. "The bumper harvest has transformed their lives both in monetary value and nutrition needs." Joab Maingi, a farmer in Kambu division, Kibwezi district in Eastern Kenya says he was sceptical when the project started, "but the income I get has enabled me to meet my basic needs which were a problem before because of rain failure."

To be able to phase out barley in favour of sorghum for its brewing activities, East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) has stated that it will need 12 million kilograms in 2011, an enormous potential market for farmers. Smart Logistic Company (SLC), contracted by EABL to transport the Gadam sorghum, has already collected the crop from at least 4,000 smallscale farmers in Eastern and Western Kenya. "The farmers' faces show great joy when they receive money. They have no transport expense as we collect the sorghum from their door-step," says SCL managing director Rose Mutuku.

New Agriculturalist

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP