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Sorghum yield declining as demand gap widens

The scarcity of sorghum in major grain markets in Kano has been attributed to insecurity in most sorghum-producing states and poor access to improved seed…

The scarcity of sorghum in major grain markets in Kano has been attributed to insecurity in most sorghum-producing states and poor access to improved seed varieties.

Recently, sorghum has been scarce in the market, and the price has gone up to over N60,000 per 100kg despite harvesting period.

According to a sorghum farmer in the state, Malam Yusuf Bagudu, despite the planting of a sorghum variety introduced by the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru Zaria in Kaduna State, sorghum demand has been on the rise due to the recent increase in demand for the cereal by some food companies.

According to him, the demand by these companies has made the grain a hot commodity in the market, forcing a hike in its price. “Despite the fact that there has been a positive development in sorghum production through the introduction of an early-yielding variety, sorghum has been scarce these days.

“Though proper sorghum harvest has not started yet, both human and industrial demands have been on the increase, hence the scarcity of the grain,” he said.

It could be recalled that the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, early this year revealed that sorghum production in Nigeria has not met the national demand.

A sorghum merchant in Tudun Wada local government grain market, Alhaji Ubale Alasan, said for three market days, sorghum had been very scarce in the market despite the large number of buyers that trooped to the market on each market day.

“I have never seen a thing like this. Yes, the harvesting period is yet to commence, but it is surprising how sorghum became so scarce not only in Tudun Wada but almost everywhere in the state.”

Sorghum is one of the two major grain crops produced in the semi-arid regions of Africa, and Nigeria is the highest producer and second in the world ranking. However, recent developments have made the grain a substitute for other staple foods, especially maize and wheat.

It has, however, been discovered that one of the major issues behind the scarcity of the grain is the adoption of sorghum by some confectioneries and other food-producing companies as a substitute for their raw materials.

Also speaking, the national president of the Sorghum/Millet Farmers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Yusuf Adams, attributed the scarcity to farmers’ inability to access improved seeds and the use of grains as seeds.

He also said that another reason is the fact that sorghum farmers are facing serious threats due to the insecurity in most of the sorghum-producing states.


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