New sorghum hybrids for Southern Africa
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CTA. 1992. New sorghum hybrids for Southern Africa . Spore 40. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45796
Farmers in Southern Africa will soon have the opportunity to grow higher yielding hybrids of sorghum. In low rainfall areas these new hybrids are outyielding hybrid maize by more than 50%. At the moment hybrid maize usually gives better yields, even...
Farmers in Southern Africa will soon have the opportunity to grow higher yielding hybrids of sorghum. In low rainfall areas these new hybrids are outyielding hybrid maize by more than 50%. At the moment hybrid maize usually gives better yields, even though sorghum is more drought tolerant. The new sorghum bybrids have been developed in Zimbabwe by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). At the Matopos Research Station the sorghum hybrids have yielded 4.2 tonnes/ hectare with 450mm rainfall. Under the same conditions hybrid maize yielded 2.7t/h. In addition some of the new hybrids are giving higher yields of green stover than the present sorghum varieties. In the very dry areas, where only sorghum or millet is grown, the new hybrids have yielded between I to 5t/h when the local varieties gave 200 to 250kg/h. The new hybrids are still being screened for resistance to pests and diseases. It is also important that the quality of the grain is acceptable, especially for milling and brewing. ICRISAT scientists are collaborating with the food industry in Zimbabwe to blend sorghum and wheat flours for baking. This should ensure that there is a good market for sorghum even after it has met the food deficit in the area. The aim now is to encourage the local seed industry in Zimbabwe and Zambia to develop the improved seed. ICRISAT PO Box 776 Bulawayo, ZIMBABWE