Farmer Participatory Testing of Technologies to Increase Sorghum and Pearl Millet Production in the Sahel
Sorghum and pearl millet are staple food crops across the sahelian agro-ecological belt of West and Central Africa and are grown by millions of resource-poor, mainly subsistence, farmers. Both crops are genetically adapted to the harsh drought-prone sahelian environment and are capable of producing grain and fodder where few other crops can even survive. Besides providing food for humans and feed for livestock, sorghum and millet stems are used for a wide range of purposes, including: the construction of walls, fences and thatches; and production of brooms, mats, baskets, fish-traps, sun shades, etc. They are also used as fuel and as a soil additive to improve its fertility. Some varieties of sorghum can be malted to produce a nutritious foodstuff for infants and for use in bakery products. Malted sorghum can be also used in small-scale traditional beer production, an important income-earning activity for village women.
Population pressure and declining soil fertility in the Sahel is having a negative impact on sorghum and millet production. Higher productivity, pest resistance and better grain quality is needed. Some improved varieties exist but their use is very limited as they are either unknown to the farmers or their seeds are unavailable. In some countries, especially Ghana and Nigeria, surplus sorghum available, over and above family food requirements is used for malting and processing. In such circumstances, dual purpose sorghum varieties, suitable for both food and malting, could be grown; and surplus grain could be sold for malting to generate cash income. The use of locally-produced sorghum-malt is developing quickly in both Ghana and Nigeria but processors find it difficult to obtain reliable quantities of suitable grain.
The programme is on going, and significant recent results include:
Links to other IFAD projects
Links to related research results:
Technical Advisory Notes (TANs)
No TANs are yet available, but technical notes are included in the following documents:
- Farmer Participatory Testing of Technologies to Increase Sorghum and Millet Production in the Sahel. Progress Report (May 2001 - May 2002) and Annual Work Plans and Budgets for 2002 2003. (pdf file)
- Approche participative dévaluation des technologies pour laugmentation de la production du mil et du sorgho au Sahel Rapport dactivité annuel (Mai 2000-Mai 2001) Plans annuels dactivité et Budgets pour 2001-2002. (pdf file)
- Improving Income and Food Supply in the Sahel Lamélioration
des revenus et la sécurité alimentaire au Sahel. ICRISAT/IFAD.
- Soil Fertility Management in West Africa: Exploring Farmers Perceptions and Practices.
- Understanding the Dynamics of Local Seed Supply in West Africa.
- Catalyzing Village Seed Enterprises in Mali.
- Sparking Farmer Participatory Seed Production in West Africa.
- From Crops to Shops: Creating A Sustainable Marketing Channel for Sorghum.
- Promoting Farmer Friendly Ways to Control Sorghum Head Bug in Mali.
- Boosting Sorghum Processing and Industrial Use in Ghana and Nigeria.
- Enhancing Crop Production and Partnership in West Africa through NARS/ICRISAT/IFAD project.
- Amélioration de la production agricole et renforcement du partenariat en Afrique de lOuest a travers le projet SNRA/ICRISAT/FIDA.
Dr. Ousmane Youm
Contact in IFAD