WHITE SORGHUM (Sorghum bicolour)

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Mapfunde (Sh), Amabele (N)


Where it does well:
Sorghum can tolerate high temperatures, high altitudes, toxic soils, and low rainfall (400-800mm). Sorghum can recover growth after some drought; the plant goes into dormancy rather than dying.

Planting-harvesting time:
Sorghum is planted during the rainy season between mid-October and mid-December. Minimum tillage and planting in basins as promoted in conservation agriculture are recommended for improved drought tolerance as well as improving soil fertility. Most sorghum matures after 90-120 days.

Average yield per ha:
Can be as high as 3.3tonnes.

Sorghum is gluten free. It contains more calcium, iron, fibre and protein than maize. The protein content of sorghum is similar to that of quinoa which is popular for its high protein content.

  • Sorghum is rich in B vitamins which are important for metabolism, neural development and skin and hair health.
  • Sorghum is a rich source of magnesium and antioxidants.

Sorghum is a nutrient-packed grain that can be used in many ways. The grains can be cooked whole, ground into flour and popped. Cooked grains can be eaten as a healthy starch alternative to replace rice or quinoa in recipes. It can be popped as a nutritious snack. The flour can be made into porridge, pizza bases, pasta, or pancakes and blended with other flours.

Sorghum’s market potential has increased over the years in Zimbabwe. It has been elevated from being used for beer and animal feed to human consumption. Raw sorghum grain, flour, and flavoured popped sorghum snacks can be found in supermarkets and specialty shops. A local company, Hutano Foods, produces an instant porridge with sorghum and other local ingredients ideal for school feeding programmes.


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