New Sorghum Varieties Released in Nigeria with Higher Iron, Yields and Drought Resilience

Source: ICRISAT (26 Feb 2016)
Author: n/a
Two new highly nutritional sorghum varieties have been released in Nigeria. Both varieties have yields that double the local varieties; one has an iron content that is three times higher. Both are drought resistant. These improved varieties were developed by a team of scientists in the Nigerian national system and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). “The newly released varieties can help overcome periods of drought especially terminal drought problems prevalent in the Nigerian (Sudan and Sahel) ecologies because they are early maturing, with 50% flowering in 67 days against the 90 days on average of other varieties,” said Dr. Ignatius Angarawai, a Scientist – Sorghum Breeding at ICRISAT Kano. And, he added, “Sorghum has been recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant and lactating mothers because of its high caloric and nutritional value. There are cases of ‘hidden hunger,’ a deficit of iron and zinc which naturally exist in sorghum, among low income farmers who sell most of their production for household consumption.” The new varieties are also resulting in less emergence of the deadly striga weed compared to other varieties on trial. more
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