By Franklin Alli
NIGERIA’s agri-business in the sorghum cultivation is now amongst world’s leading position at number two after the United States of America, USA, which is the number one world’s leading producer.
Vanguard inquiries showed that the world sorghum production is forecast at 59.34million metric tonnes in 2017/18. A breakdown of the data, obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), showed that USA’s output is projected at 8.4m metric tonnes while Nigeria is following with 6.4m metric tonnes and Mexico in the third position with 6.0m metric tonnes.
According to the USDA data, Sorghum production was 63.08 million tonnes last year. This year’s output, at 59.34 million tonnes, represents a decrease of 3.74 million tonnes or a -5.93 per cent in Sorghum production around the globe.
Meanwhile a report from one of the major local industrial consumers of sorghum, Nigerian Breweries Plc, NB, said that the industrial sector, especially food and beverages, utilised 20 per cent or 1.3m metric tonnes of the grain as raw materials in 2015, while 80 percent or 4.2 million tonnes were utilised to produce food and livestock feeds.
NB, in its Sustainability Report tagged, ‘Enhancing the Sorghum Value Chain’, stated that its annual demand for Sorghum is approximately 100,000 metric tonnes per annum.
Sorghum is a local grain grown predominantly in the semi-arid, savannah and grassland areas of Northern Nigeria and other parts of the world.
The report stated that it is nutritionally rich and serves as a staple food in most parts of northern Nigeria. It also stated that the grain has assumed commercial relevance lately, especially in the food and beverage industry.
It has been found to be a valuable ingredient next to malted barley used in the brewery industry.