Innovations for sustainable production and utilizations of Pearl millet in drought prone areas of North Kordofan State-Sudan

Type Working Paper - NAF International Working Paper Series
Title Innovations for sustainable production and utilizations of Pearl millet in drought prone areas of North Kordofan State-Sudan
Volume 14/8
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL Science Reports/2014/Volume 7/Issue 1/1.pdf
The baseline survey has been conducted in North Kordofan State with the main objective of
generating quantitative information on households with respect to millet production,
consumption and value added. This data will be used as baseline data and tool to generate
some indicators that assess the impact of the project interventions on the livelihoods of
households in the selected area.
The survey was conducted in North Kordofan state for the cropping season 2011/2012. A
purposive sampling technique was used to select Elkhuwai locality out of 13 localities of
North Kordofan and a random sample of 81 households were selected from 7 villages and
directly interviewed. Despite its importance, the productivity of pearl millet is very low,
ranging from 72 to 180 kg /ha. This necessitate the intervention of the project in the area of
improved seeds that adapted to these problems to enhance the productivity of the main staple
food crops such as millet and sorghum and achieve food sufficiency and food security. In this
respect, there are many pear millet varieties distributed in Kordofan state however Dembi
variety is the most famous one with very low adoption rate. Only 10% of the household use
improved varieties while the majority of them use local seeds. This entails that the provision
of improved seeds is essential for improving crop productivity and food security as well.
Thus, intervention of the project in the area of seed supply is really needed. The main factors that contribute to low yields are: climate change as reflected in the amount
and distribution of the rainfall and the rising temperatures, use of traditional low-yielding
varieties due to unavailability and very low adoption rate of improved varieties, unavailability
of essential inputs (improved seeds & fertilizers), poor seed production and distribution, low
adoption rate of the recommended technologies (poor agronomic practices), poor technology
transfer, poor research-extension- farmer linkages, decline in soil fertility, susceptibility to
biotic constraints, unavailability of labor, institutional constraints. Other constraints limit millet
production and value addition and have a serious implication on food insecurity include
limited markets, inefficiency of the marketing, inefficiency of crediting systems, lack of proper
mechanization, poor harvesting, threshing and cleaning technologies, poor farm level preprocessing
technologies, storage pests, poor storage facilities, limited processing and
utilization and lack of diversity in value added product, unfavorable pricing and production
policy. These have severe negative impact on food security of rural household, their
livelihood outcomes and on natural resource base.
Results indicated that there is a food shortage in the sense that households are not able to feed
their families through low-yielding subsistence production; and loss of the economic
opportunity that these people would otherwise have to alleviate their poverty by producing
grain for sale, due to poor grain yields, quality and the constrained market demand for these
crops. The majority of the households were found to be vulnerable since large proportion of
their average income is used on food consumption.
With respect to marketing issues, only 2.5% of the households were involved in millet
marketing as grain product. This is also localized to some localities while other localities are
not involved in the marketing process for the fact that household consume what they produce.
Few amount of pearl millet is sold to consumers, other farmers or urban traders. In addition to
that, households had no collective action for marketing their produce. Millet is passed from
farmers to farmer, village and urban traders to consumer and it is stored above ground and
packed in sacks made of jute with a capacity of 100 kg, transported by trucks and lorries from
weekly village market to the center market.

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