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Pre- and post harvest factors affecting sorghum production (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) among smallholder farming communities

Alex M. Kange, Erick K. Cheruiyot, Joshua O. Ogendo, Peter F. Arama, Sylvans O. Ochola

Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University, P.O. Box 536-20115 Egerton, Kenya

School of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Rongo University College, P.O. Box 103-40404, Rongo, Kenya

Key words: Panicle, landraces, sorghum, pre, post – harvest.


late-panicle-hydrangea-flowerA farm survey was conducted on Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) as a staple cereal crop adapted in arid and semi – arid lands. The objective was to determine pre and post harvest factors affecting sorghum production. Ninety five farmers were sampled using snowballing sampling method in six sorghum growing sub – counties (Siaya, Bondo, Njoro, Rongai, Kibwezi and Kathonzweni) to gather information on pre – and post – harvest. Data collected on source of sorghum seeds, varieties storage form and were analyzed using descriptive statistic cross tabulation SPSS version 20 software. Sources of sorghum seed were farmers own seed (33.7%), from neighbour or market (24.2%) and farm input distributors (42.1%). The results showed that 44.2% and 55.8% of the farmers preferred local and improved sorghum varieties respectively. Sorghum grains were either stored in shelled form (88.4%) or on panicles (11.6%). This study further established that farmers maintain a diversity of sorghum landraces unique in their adaptation, food quality, grain yield and quality of harvested products resistance. The results of this study can be used to explain the perennial food insecurity in these regions known to have huge potential for sorghum production.

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