Improving livelihoods through grain
Sorghum, millet, and other similar grains are versatile crops that can be grown in various agro-ecosystems, used as building material or mulch, are dependable at harvest, and efficiently use water and nutrients. Increasing concerns about uncertain rainfall and higher temperatures associated with climate variability are also helping to move sorghum and pearl millet from crops grown solely for household consumption into the market. This shift is giving smallholder farmers growing grains as staple goods the opportunity to expand into bigger markets and increase their incomes. Expanding all forms of staple grains production, processing, and marketing is a key component of Feed the Future multi-year strategies.
Smallholder grain producers in developing countries, however, often lack the technical expertise to increase yields, improve their product, and take full advantage of these market opportunities. The institutional capacity to develop new market outlets, enhance crop varieties, and disseminate these products is also limited.
The Sorghum, Millet and Other Grains CRSP (INTSORMIL) worked with partners in the US and host countries to find solutions to these problems. In Senegal, Mali, and Niger, the INTSORMIL team and its partners conducted on-farm demonstrations of existing sorghum technologies including improved seeds, fertilizers, and agronomic practices. Farmers who employed these recommendations saw their sorghum yields double. In El Salvador, the INTSORMIL CRSP has assisted in the introduction of household grinders that convert sorghum into flour for baked goods, creating a new use and market for the local product and combating rising wheat costs.
INTSORMIL CRSP research helped producers in developing countries produce a bigger and better harvest and for the growing sorghum and millet markets to stimulate economic growth and improve livelihoods for smallholders.
For more information:
Sorghum & Millet Innovation Lab (2013 – present)
148 Waters Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
INTSORMIL Sorghum, Millet & Other Grains CRSP (2006-2011)
INTSORMIL CRSP (1979-2006)