Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour) is an annual crop that belongs to the grass family called Gramineae and is an indigenous crop to Africa. It is the third most important cereals crop in Nigeria after maize and rice and plays an important role in the diets and economies of people especially in the northern part of the country where climatic conditions are most suitable for its cultivation. It is a hardy crop that provides better household food security than maize in the drought-prone areas of the North. The colour of the seed is used to classify sorghum into three varieties – red, white and yellow.
Nigeria is the second-largest producer of Sorghum after the US. Nigeria produced 6.7million tons in 2019 while the US produced 8.7million tons. In term of consumption, China, India, the US and Mexico are the largest markets in that order. It plays a key role in the diets of people in the northern part of Nigeria where is per capita annual consumption is more than 75Kg.
Industrial demand for sorghum by beverage industries is increasing in Nigeria as a local substitute for imported barley and other malted grains due to scarcity of foreign exchange. Sorghum is a principal raw material for the production of beverage drinks. Sorghum bran and offal are used for making animal feeds. Sorghum is a good source of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin B, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Zinc.