Kenya is conducting research on soil fertility in order to improve its sorghum yields, the country’s research agency said on Thursday.
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Researcher Peterson Njeru told Xinhua in Nairobi that the study which will be complete in 2018, will investigate the right amount of phosphates and nitrogen that farmers need to apply in the soil in order to get maximum sorghum output.
“Currently farmers don’t have knowledge on which nutrients as well as quantity to apply to the soil during planting and weeding stages resulting in less yields,” Njeru said during the Symposium on Climate Change and Droughts Resilience in Africa.
The two-day conference brought over 100 participants from Africa to review the progress that the continent’s has achieved in combating climate change.
Sorghum is a very important crop for the country especially in the drylands.
Njeru said the cereal is one of the drought tolerant crops that Kenya is encouraging farmers to cultivate as a way to combat climate change.
“Climate change phenomenon has led to rainfall variability that is affecting harvests for farmers,” he added.
KARLO noted that Kenya’s average yields for sorghum is less than global average as farmers have not adopted the latest soil management techniques.
The East African nation introduced the Gadam sorghum variety that has improved farmers yields. Njeru noted that the grain could a play a big role in improving food security in the country.
“More uptake of sorghum by farmers will also help to diversify crop production away from maize which is the country’s staple,” he said.
In addition, sorghum is a key cash crop because it is an input in the country’s large beer manufacturing industry. Enditem