With the economic trade stand-off between China and the US, Nigeria stands a better chance of supplying sorghum to meet some of the consequent demands in the Chinese domestic market.
From a global view, sorghum ranks second among the top five cereal grains produce and in huge demand. Sorghum grains are used for both human and animal nutrition all over the world. It is processed into flour used in bakeries, confectioneries, animal feeds etc.
With intensive production in Bauchi, Niger, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa, Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, and Nasarawa, Nigeria accounts for 65-70% of the total sorghum produced in West Africa atleast before the security challenges in the Northern part of Nigeria.
With good management practices, sorghum generates good revenue for the farmers and has the potentials of attracting foreign investors into the nation as more companies develop an interest in harnessing its value chain of cereals in Nigeria.
Sorghum is rich in protein, Iron, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Magnesium, and Phosphorus amongst others. It is regarded ed as close substitute to rice and wheat as it contains almost the same nutritional compositions. In addition, it is rich in antioxidants, helps to reduce blood cholesterol and blood pressure, contains dietary fibre needed for digestive function, and a good source of energy.
Apart from the brewing industry, sorghum also commands a huge demand in the production of dietary infants’ foods. Several researches have equally affirmed its potentials in the energy industry as it could be a good additive in the production of ethanol as a biofuel.
Should the production of sorghum be well optimized in Nigeria, it would enhance youth employment, foreign exchange, foreign direct investment etc.
The local varieties of sorghum take between 100 to 120 days before it is ready for harvest and yield between 500Kg to 1 tonne per hectare of farmland. 12KNICSV-188, Improved Deko and SAMSORG 45 all improved varieties, produce between 2.4 – 2.8 tonnes per hectare and spend between 70 to 90 days to maturity.
The local price of Sorghum in Nigeria is currently about ₦15,000 – ₦25,000 per 100kg.
Harvesting average of 2 tonnes per hectare will give farmer estimated income of ₦300,000 – ₦500,000 per hectare under a good management practice while the operating cost of production is projected at ₦130,000 giving a profit margin of about ₦170,000 per hectare.
Sorghum requires a well tilled and prepared seedbed with a planting population of 7kg seed per hectare. Planting time usually varies from September to January in Nigeria.