Farmers expect production boom after State order
Sorghum farmers have a reason to smile following the government’s directive that all millers blend flour meant for human consumption with sorghum.
Following the directive, the country’s sorghum production is expected to triple to meet the rising demand.
According to data from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), the country’s annual production stands at 206,000 metric tonnes despite the high potential.
This is against a demand of 270,000 metric tonnes as consumers shifted from over-reliance of maize as the country’s main staple food.
KALRO Director-General Eliud Kireger noted that the country has potential to increase sorghum production through improved farming.
He said the research institution had already developed a variety that has the capability of producing eight tonnes per hectare from the current 0.9 tonnes.
Speaking in Naivasha yesterday, Kireger lauded the directive that all flour in the country be blended with sorghum. This, he said, has pushed demand for the cereal.
“The government has directed all millers to ensure 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.
The institution has embarked on training farmers in 10 counties under a programme sponsored by World Bank.