Sweet sorghum: agronomic practice for food, animal feed and fuel production in Sub-Saharan Africa

Muhammad Nasidi, Reginald Agu, Graeme Walker, Yusuf Deeni*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    394 Downloads (Pure)


    Sweet sorghum is a cereal that belongs to the species Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench. Although the crop is reportedly native to Africa, it is grown worldwide largely because it thrives well under wide rainfall regimes, varied day lengths, soil conditions and can tolerate varying degrees of biotic and abiotic factors and stresses. This chapter reviews and discusses the physiology and adaptation of sweet sorghum crops to varied environmental and climatic conditions across Sub-Saharan Africa. Several research works have indicated that numerous improved cultivar types of sweet sorghum are grown across Africa. Virtually all sweet sorghum cultivars are primarily grown to produce grain, sugary stalk juice and forage or fodder. The grains are considered the 3rd most important source of staple food to people living in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Furthermore, the grains may also be malted to produce beverages or utilized as adjunct in beer brewing. However, the sugary stalk juice is most commonly used for sorghum molasses or syrup production. Sorghum molasses or syrup is a suitable alternative to refined cane sugars for beverage consumption; particularly for diabetic patients. Thus, the nutritional value, health benefits and future prospects of sorghum grain consumption to address certain human health challenges are discussed in this chapter. Alternatively, the sugary stalk juice from sorghum may be bio-converted to bioethanol (a fuel alcohol). Sweet sorghum crop residues (i.e., leftovers and after the grains are harvested and stalk juice extracted) can serve as animal feed or utilized as lignocellulosic biomass for second generation bioethanol production. This chapter reviews and discusses literature that demonstrates sweet sorghum is a cereal crop with high tolerance to diverse environmental and climatic conditions. In addition, the crop produces nutritious grains and sugary stalk juice that are of important health and economic benefits for domestic and industrial applications throughout in Africa.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSweet sorghum
    Subtitle of host publicationcharacteristics, cultivation and uses
    EditorsLila Rogers, Mona Willis
    PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
    ISBN (Electronic)9781536153873
    ISBN (Print)9781536153866
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019

    Publication series

    NameAgriculture Issues and Policies
    PublisherNova Science Publishers


    • Sorghum
    • Agronomy
    • Food
    • Fodder
    • Bioethanol
    • Health
    • Disease


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