Sorghum

What is Sorghum?

Sorghum is a cereal grain that is widely grown for its edible seeds and is used in the production of food, feed, and industrial products. It is a hardy crop that is well-suited to dry and arid climates and is grown extensively in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Sorghum is a versatile crop that can be used for a variety of purposes. The seeds can be milled into flour and used to make a wide range of food products, including bread, tortillas, porridge, and couscous. Sorghum is also a nutritious animal feed that is commonly used in livestock production. In addition, the plant has many industrial uses, such as the production of biofuels and building materials.

Sorghum is a crop that is easy to grow and requires relatively little water compared to other cereal crops. It is an important food crop in many parts of the world, particularly in Africa, where it is a staple food for millions of people. Sorghum is also an important crop for small-scale farmers, as it can provide a source of income and help to improve food security in rural communities. Overall, sorghum is a valuable crop that plays an important role in global food and agricultural systems.

Sorghum Production in the World

Nigeria is the top country producing Sorghum in the world. As of 2022, Nigeria produced 6,806,370 tonnes of Sorghum, accounting for 11.82% of the total production. Sudan is the world's second-largest Sorghum producer, with 5,248,000 tonnes, which represents 9.11% of the total production. In terms of Sorghum yield, Oman is the most productive country on the planet with 559,836. United States of America, Mexico, and Ethiopia are the top three leading countries with '4,769,960', '4,754,169', '4,200,000', and '4,150,570' tonnes respectively. Kyrgyzstan has the lowest production of Sorghum in the world with only 2 tonnes in 2022. The world's total production of sorghum was estimated at 57,581,944 tonnes in 2022.

Source: FAOSTAT

Top 10 Countries by Sorghum Production in 2022

Top Countries by Production of sorghum in 2022

Rank Country production(Tonnes) acreage(Hectare) Yield
1
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Nigeria
6,806,3705,700,00011,941
2
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Sudan
5,248,0007,000,0007,497
3
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United States of America
4,769,9601,849,43025,792
4
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Mexico
4,754,1691,332,92935,667
5
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Ethiopia
4,200,0001,660,00025,301
6
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India
4,150,5703,800,81010,920
7
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China
3,180,000660,00048,182
8
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Brazil
2,923,3181,043,48028,015
9
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Argentina
2,883,301699,88741,197
10
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Australia
2,648,069621,50342,607
11
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Niger
2,100,6973,786,2575,548
12
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Burkina Faso
2,013,8691,958,67210,282
13
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Mali
1,603,3941,639,3949,780
14
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Cameroon
1,200,000740,00016,216
15
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The United Republic of Tanzania
1,000,0001,000,00010,000
16
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Chad
966,5711,143,9398,449
17
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South Sudan
759,469700,04110,849
18
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Egypt
750,000150,00050,000
19
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Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
595,337503,79411,817
20
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Ghana
401,499310,00012,952
21
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Senegal
363,164270,16813,442
22
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Togo
280,809317,5718,842
23
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Yemen
240,000310,0007,742
24
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Uganda
225,000250,0009,000
25
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France
210,94049,86042,306
26
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Italy
197,56036,05054,802
27
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Rwanda
192,427177,26110,856
28
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Oman
178,5823,190559,836
29
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Myanmar
171,867166,61410,315
30
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Mozambique
149,566293,2665,100
31
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Eritrea
140,000270,0005,185
32
Flag
Russian Federation
127,12588,02914,441
33
Flag
Mauritania
124,607209,0005,962
34
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Benin
124,236127,2919,760
35
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Saudi Arabia
120,00057,14321,000
36
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Kenya
117,000209,0955,596
37
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Malawi
117,000117,3709,969
38
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Paraguay
109,07730,64535,594
39
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South Africa
103,14037,20027,726
40
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Somalia
100,000250,0004,000
41
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El Salvador
90,00065,00013,846
42
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Zimbabwe
87,750166,4985,270
43
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Côte d'Ivoire
73,345103,7447,070
44
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Sierra Leone
65,00067,2309,668
45
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Guinea
64,92843,25815,010
46
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Nicaragua
63,71334,25418,600
47
Flag
Thailand
50,00027,00018,519
48
Flag
Pakistan
48,67159,4248,190
49
Flag
Hungary
47,55019,77024,052
50
Flag
Guatemala
45,00022,83319,709
51
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Ukraine
40,31015,20026,520
52
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Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
36,82216,18822,746
53
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Democratic People's Republic of Korea
35,67027,19013,119
54
Flag
Angola
35,551152,3022,334
55
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Botswana
35,00027,13012,901
56
Flag
Israel
33,4882,160155,000
57
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Guinea-Bissau
26,74220,00013,371
58
Flag
Austria
26,1703,55073,718
59
Flag
Burundi
25,00040,0006,250
60
Flag
Uruguay
24,02727,4438,755
61
Flag
Belize
20,6996,15433,635
62
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Kazakhstan
18,57519,9049,332
63
Flag
Central African Republic
17,91339,3324,554
64
Flag
Uzbekistan
16,81212,13013,860
65
Flag
Honduras
15,00013,78010,885
66
Flag
Haiti
15,00025,8895,794
67
Flag
Spain
14,9704,71031,783
68
Flag
Zambia
14,84320,4607,254
69
Flag
Romania
14,8305,70026,018
70
Flag
Republic of Moldova
13,9005,30026,226
71
Flag
Ecuador
13,6478,46416,123
72
Flag
Syrian Arab Republic
10,2885,34519,248
73
Flag
Slovakia
8,4202,94028,639
74
Flag
Serbia
8,1932,60631,441
75
Flag
Greece
8,1302,35034,596
76
Flag
Democratic Republic of the Congo
8,00013,0006,154
77
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Bulgaria
6,0202,51023,984
78
Flag
Namibia
5,36119,6092,734
79
Flag
Morocco
5,3371,59033,566
80
Flag
Gambia
5,2236,0198,678
81
Flag
Panama
5,0001,16442,944
82
Flag
Papua New Guinea
4,8431,13242,797
83
Flag
Cuba
4,6252,92815,796
84
Flag
Colombia
4,2061,38030,490
85
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Lesotho
4,01315,4202,602
86
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Taiwan
4,0002,00020,000
87
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Republic of Korea
2,8541,59417,901
88
Flag
Iraq
2,5112,12611,811
89
Flag
Madagascar
1,3692,4255,644
90
Flag
Tunisia
1,2402,3905,187
91
Flag
Eswatini
1,0001,00010,000
92
Flag
Algeria
96513571,607
93
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Jordan
79339205,460
94
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Philippines
5899959,318
95
Flag
Lebanon
28512423,089
96
Flag
Dominican Republic
22415614,392
97
Flag
Palestine
15511313,744
98
Flag
Azerbaijan
1517320,699
99
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Bangladesh
806612,121
100
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Slovenia
805016,000
101
Flag
Sri Lanka
806612,121
102
Flag
Tajikistan
732529,292
103
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Peru
691936,126
104
Flag
Maldives
524312,214
105
Flag
North Macedonia
362912,165
106
Flag
Fiji
24733,092
107
Flag
Micronesia (Federated States of)
17723,984
108
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Türkiye
17628,333
109
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Kyrgyzstan
2120,000

Cultivation of Sorghum

Sorghum is a hardy crop that is relatively easy to cultivate and is well-suited to dry and arid climates.

Here are some key aspects of sorghum cultivation:

  1. Soil and Climate: Sorghum grows best in warm, arid regions with well-drained soil. The ideal soil for sorghum is deep, fertile, and slightly acidic. The plant can tolerate drought and is well-suited to areas with limited rainfall.
  2. Planting: Sorghum is typically planted in the spring, after the last frost, when soil temperatures have warmed up to at least 60°F. The seeds should be planted 1 to 2 inches deep and spaced about 6 inches apart in rows that are 30 to 36 inches apart.
  3. Watering: Sorghum requires regular watering during the early stages of growth, but can tolerate drought once it is established. The plant should be watered deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
  4. Fertilizer: Sorghum responds well to fertilizer, particularly nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It is important to apply fertilizer at the right time, typically before planting or during the early stages of growth.
  5. Harvesting: Sorghum is typically harvested in the fall when the seeds have matured and the stalks have dried out. The seeds can be harvested using a combine or by hand, and can be stored for several months in a cool, dry place.

Overall, sorghum is a hardy and versatile crop that is well-suited to a range of growing conditions. With the right care and attention, sorghum can provide a valuable source of food, feed, and income for farmers around the world.

Health Benefits of Sorghum

Sorghum, a cereal grain widely cultivated in many parts of the world, offers several health benefits due to its nutrient profile. Here are some potential health benefits of sorghum:

  1. Nutrient-rich: Sorghum is a good source of essential nutrients, including dietary fiber, protein, vitamins (such as niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6), and minerals (such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus). These nutrients are important for overall health and well-being.
  2. Gluten-free alternative: Sorghum is naturally gluten-free, making it a suitable grain option for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in baking and cooking.
  3. Digestive health: Sorghum is rich in dietary fiber, which aids in promoting digestive health. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
  4. Heart health: The high fiber content in sorghum is beneficial for heart health. Dietary fiber can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  5. Blood sugar management: Sorghum has a lower glycemic index compared to some other grains. This means it has a slower effect on blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage blood sugar levels.
  6. Antioxidant properties: Sorghum contains various antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids. These antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  7. Weight management: The high fiber content in sorghum can promote feelings of fullness and help control appetite, which may be beneficial for weight management or weight loss goals.
  8. Bone health: Sorghum contains minerals like magnesium and phosphorus, which play a crucial role in maintaining bone health and strength. These minerals contribute to bone formation and help prevent conditions like osteoporosis.

It's important to note that individual results may vary, and sorghum should be consumed as part of a balanced diet to reap its potential health benefits.

Nutritional Information of Sorghum

The following is the approximate nutritional composition of sorghum per 100 grams:

  • Calories: 329 cal
  • Carbohydrates: 72 grams
    • Dietary fiber: 6 grams
    • Sugars: 2 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Protein: 11 grams
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 0.40 milligrams
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 4.40 milligrams
  • Vitamin B6: 0.45 milligrams
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): 22 micrograms
  • Iron: 4.4 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 165 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 290 milligrams
  • Potassium: 350 milligrams
  • Zinc: 2.7 milligrams

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary depending on the variety of sorghum and other factors.

Regional Variety of Sorghum

Sorghum is a versatile grain that is cultivated in various regions around the world. Different regional varieties of sorghum have unique characteristics and are used for various purposes.

Here are a few examples of regional varieties of sorghum and their uses:

  1. African White Sorghum: This variety of sorghum is commonly grown in Africa. It is primarily used for food consumption, such as grinding the grains into flour for making porridge, flatbreads, and traditional fermented beverages like "pito" or "kaffir beer."
  2. Indian Millet/Jowar: Jowar is a popular variety of sorghum in India. It is used to make traditional Indian flatbreads like "roti" or "bhakri." Jowar flour is also used in the preparation of porridge, snacks, and even gluten-free baking.
  3. Sweet Sorghum: Sweet sorghum varieties are known for their high sugar content in the stalks. These varieties are primarily grown for their sweet juice, which can be extracted and used to make syrup, molasses, or fermented into alcoholic beverages. Sweet sorghum can also be used as animal feed.
  4. Grain Sorghum (Milo): Grain sorghum, also known as "milo," is a widely grown variety in the United States and other parts of the world. It is primarily cultivated as a cereal grain for human consumption, livestock feed, and in the production of biofuels. The grains are used in cooking, as an ingredient in cereals, snacks, and as a gluten-free flour alternative.
  5. Broomcorn Sorghum: Broomcorn sorghum is a unique variety that is cultivated for its tall stalks with bushy seed heads. The long, stiff fibers from the seed heads are used to make brooms and brushes. The stalks can also be used for decorative purposes in crafts and floral arrangements.
  6. Ethiopian Sorghum: Ethiopia is known for its diverse range of sorghum varieties. In addition to being used for food, Ethiopian sorghum is also utilized in the production of traditional alcoholic beverages like "tella" and "katikala."

These are just a few examples, and there are many more regional varieties of sorghum with distinct uses and cultural significance.

Structure of Sorghum

Sorghum plants are tall, and leafy, and typically grow to a height of 6-10 feet (2-3 meters).

The structure of sorghum includes the following parts:

  1. Roots: Sorghum plants have a fibrous root system that is relatively shallow and spreads out in all directions to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
  2. Stems: The main stem of the sorghum plant is thick and hollow, with a series of joints or nodes that give the plant strength and stability. The stems are typically green or reddish and can be covered in fine hairs.
  3. Leaves: The leaves of sorghum plants are long and narrow, with a bluish-green color and a waxy surface. The leaves are arranged alternately on the stem and have a prominent midrib and veins.
  4. Flowers: Sorghum plants produce flowers in clusters at the top of the main stem. The flowers are typically small and have a range of colors, including white, yellow, pink, and purple.
  5. Seeds: The seeds of sorghum plants are small and round, with a hard outer layer or hull. The seeds are typically beige or brown, although some varieties can have red or black seeds. The seeds are used to make flour, meal, and other food products, as well as animal feed and biofuels.

Overall, the structure of sorghum is similar to that of other cereal crops such as wheat, rice, and corn, with a tall, upright growth habit and a range of plant parts that are important for growth, reproduction, and food production.

Types of Sorghum

There are many different types of sorghum, with varying characteristics and uses.

Here are some common types of sorghum:

  1. Grain sorghum: This is the most common type of sorghum and is grown primarily for its edible seeds, which can be used in a variety of food and feed products.
  2. Sweet sorghum: This type of sorghum is grown for its sweet juice, which can be used to make syrups, molasses, and other sweeteners.
  3. Forage sorghum: Forage sorghum is grown for animal feed and is typically taller and leafier than grain sorghum.
  4. Broomcorn: Broomcorn is a type of sorghum that is grown for its stiff fibers, which are used to make brooms and other household items.
  5. Sudan grass: This is a hybrid of sorghum and a related grass called sudangrass. It is typically used for forage and can be grown as a summer cover crop.
  6. Dual-purpose sorghum: This type of sorghum is grown for both grain and forage and is commonly used in areas with limited water resources.

Overall, the different types of sorghum have varying uses and characteristics, but all are valued for their versatility and ability to grow in a range of conditions.

Uses of Sorghum

Sorghum has many uses, including:

  1. Food: Sorghum is a staple food crop in many parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The grains can be ground into flour to make bread, porridge, and other dishes. Sorghum is also used to make beer, spirits, and other fermented beverages.
  2. Animal feed: Sorghum is a valuable source of feed for livestock, especially in areas where other feed sources are scarce. The grain can be used as a whole or ground into a meal and mixed with other ingredients to create a balanced diet for animals.
  3. Biofuel: Sorghum is a promising source of biofuel, as it produces high yields of biomass and can grow in a range of conditions. The stalks and leaves can be processed to make ethanol, which can be used as a fuel additive or as a standalone fuel.
  4. Industrial uses: Sorghum is used in a range of industrial applications, such as the production of paper, building materials, and bio-plastics.
  5. Ornamental use: Some varieties of sorghum are grown for their colorful foliage and can be used as ornamental plants in gardens or landscaping.

Overall, sorghum is a versatile crop that can be used for a variety of purposes, from food and feed to energy and industry.