This article focuses on sorghum farming in Kenya. Sorghum is widely grown in Kenya. It is majorly grown in some parts of the Central region, Western, North Rift and Eastern. It is a drought-resistant crop that thrives in dry areas.
Sorghum can be grown for its seeds or for fodder. The seeds can be crushed and used as an ingredient in baking, making flour, beer and other functions.
Varieties of sorghum grown in Kenya
There are a lot of varieties of sorghum grown in Kenya. This includes;
- Mtama 1
- Mtama 2
Nutritional benefits of sorghum
- Rich in fiber which aids in digestion.
- Contains minerals such as magnesium which perform vital functions in the body like bone formation and energy building.
- Sorghum is a rich source of vitamin B.
Ecological conditions for growing sorghum
- Well drained soil.
- Temperature of between 15-35°c.
- Annual rainfall that ranges between 400-650mm.
- Altitudes areas of below 1500m.
- Fertile soil.
Method of planting sorghum
Sorghum is propagated by seeds. The seeds are directly sown into furrows, with a row spacing of 45-60cm. Germination occurs after 5-7 days.
Sorghum can be intercropped with legumes such as cowpeas, beans and other crops such as maize etc.
While planting, it is necessary to supply the planted crop with nutrients and fertilisers such as DAP, CAN, NPK or foliar fertilisers such as Optimizer, Lavender etc.
Proper weeding also needs to be done. You can use herbicides or any other necessary means to eradicate the weeds.
Harvesting of sorghum
Sorghum matures after 3-4 months. However, this may not be the case with some varieties. It also depends on ecological conditions.
Harvesting of sorghum can be done by cutting off the heads with a knife or any necessary material.
Sorghum market in Kenya
There is a huge and diverse market for sorghum in Kenya. In the local market, a 90 kg bag of sorghum costs approximately Kshs 3,500- 5,000.
Sorghum can be sold to companies or in the local market. Major companies in Kenya that buy sorghum include;
- East African Breweries Limited (EABL).
- Unga Limited
- Kenya Industrial Research & Development Institute.
Sorghum can also be sold to other institutions such as schools, NGOs etc.
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