The Nigerian Government has announced the launch of a technical committee to boost existing Sorghum production to meet local consumption and industrial needs.
This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, according to NAN.
The Committee was inaugurated by Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and urged stakeholders in the value chain to collaborate to achieve set targets.
What they are saying
The Perm Sec stated that boosting Sorghum production and value addition toward self-sufficiency and meeting industrial requirements for Nigeria is important as it currently ranks second highest producer in Africa.
“The crop had recently assumed great industrial relevance such that many multinational companies, especially the breweries now use sorghum grits as adjuncts (up to 40%) to barley base (mash) for making alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages,” he said
He added that industrial use includes the likes of Flour Mills which uses sorghum in place of wheat for composite flour which serves as the main ingredient in the manufacture of confectioneries such as bread, biscuits, cakes, couscous, infant foods and cookies.
“In addition, the non-food industrial use of sorghum as grits also exists in aluminium ore refining, animal feeds, building materials and foundry binders.
“The prevalence of many varieties and cultivars is identified as the major problem leading to low sorghum productivity resulting in supply shortfall.
“The varieties are not what is needed by our food industries, so this has necessitated the need to streamline the existing varieties to meet our food, industrial and export needs,” he said.
He added that the development is essential as it will also enhance farmers’ income, attract more youths to sorghum cultivation, meet national demand and contribute to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product.
The Chairman of the Technical Committee, Prof. Dan Abah, assured that members would work assiduously toward achieving its terms of reference.
Recall Nairametrics recently reported that the Nigerian government is to commence the disbursement of 1,035 metric tons of wheat seed and inputs to farmers in Kaduna, Katsina and Kano states to boost wheat production in Nigeria.