Sorghum Kenya

Lead Organization:

Rongo University

Community of Practice:

East & Southern Africa






In a previous phase of this project, new high yielding, multi-stress tolerant sorghum were developed and shown to considerably increase productivity and the varieties are in high demand. To enhance sorghum productivity, soil health issues need to be greatly improved and strategies to do so should be sustainable and with an added advantage of improving ecological services. Diversification of the sorghum-based system is one way to achieve this; sorghum/legume/livestock integration can lead to diversified diets and improved nutritional. With the diversified system and value addition of the sorghum products, the nutrition status and livelihoods of the households will be improved.

Grant Aims:

To upscale and improve access to the new high yielding multi-stress tolerant sorghum cultivars to reach new smallholder farmers;To breed sorghum varieties tolerant to ergot disease and Striga;To improve soil fertility, water use efficiency and reduce Striga infestation using appropriate management strategies for enhanced crop yields;To diversify diets and reduce malnutrition and hidden hunger through sorghum value addition and poultry interventions; andTo develop the capacity of farmers, postgraduate students and other stakeholders considering gender dimensions for an enhanced sorghum value chain.

Outputs and Outcomes:

OutputsIncreased seed production/access to new high yielding multi-stress tolerant varieties of sorghumNew sorghum varieties tolerant to ergot disease and striga weed developedDevelopment of improved management packages for soil fertility, water-use efficiency and striga infestationValue added products developed and promoted for better nutrition of pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children from 6 months to 5 years and for poultry rearingCapacity of building of sorghum stakeholders – postgraduate students, farmers, FRN-NGOs and processors among others to improve the sorghum value chain OutcomesAdoption of improved sorghum varieties leading to an increase in sorghum grain yield by farmers in eastern and western KenyaReduction in yield loss experienced by farmers due to use of ergot and striga tolerant sorghum varieties and an increase in sorghum yieldsEnhanced adoption of better practices by sorghum farmers to manage soil fertility, crop water-use and striga weedEnhanced utilization and consumption of nutritious sorghum products in diets of the affected groups and subsequently improvement in health and nutrition statusEnhanced production and consumption of poultry products thereby improving dietary protein intake by sorghum smallholder householdsAn increase in application of acquired knowledge and skills about sorghum and positive change in attitude and behavior towards sorghum, legume and poultry production systems, utilization options by various actors, contributing to the strengthening of value chain functionality The long term outcome is high productivity, food and nutritional security and enhanced family incomes from the sale of surplus sorghum grain