Tanzania Government organizes sorghum day
The event started with a tour of a sorghum field planted with variety Macia. The farmers were very impressed with the maturing crop planted as an intercrop, and observed that despite the dry spell, the sorghum crop had fully set seed. Several farmers were heard saying that they would stop planting maize in favor for sorghum, while others wished to acquire Macia seed and increase the acreage grown to it.
Present at the sorghum day were Frida Mgonja, the project country coordinator, Govind Kelkar project gender specialist, and Henry Ojulong and Joseph Kibuka from ICRISAT-Nairobi. Joseph Kibuka emphasized the need for farmers to change their farming practices and adapt drought-resistant crops like
sorghum, finger millet and pearl millet. He noted that there is a good market for sorghum in the beer industry, as needs are not being met in both Tanzania and the neighboring Kenya.
turn from a staple crop to a cash crop. He observed that the decline in rainfall has led to prolonged drought, and with the growing population measures have to be in place to mitigate frequent famines and food insecurity. He revealed that the government will pursue the following strategies: promote short-term crops;
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introduce drought-tolerant crops like sorghum, millets and pigeonpea, and promote water harvesting. These, he noted, are in line with ICRISATs priorities, and pledged continued collaboration.
Encouraging farmers to take up sorghum cultivation, he said that the Tanzanian government had decided to supply sorghum to farmers in the drought affected areas. The day ended with the guests sampling mouth watering sorghum products like Pillao (sorghum and meat mixture), half cake and chapattis.