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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Title Sorghum production systems and constraints, and coping strategies under drought-prone agro-ecologies of Ethiopia
Author(s)
Volume 33
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 207-217
URL https://journals.co.za/content/plantsoil/33/3/EJC188274
Abstract
Sorghum is one of the most important cereal crops worldwide after wheat, rice, maize and barley. Examining the
present socio-economic conditions of sorghum-producing farmers in different agro-ecologies in Ethiopia is of
importance for the design of improvement strategies. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the sorghum
production system and patterns, major production constraints and related coping strategies in north-eastern
Ethiopia. Twelve sorghum-growing villages in the North Welo, South Welo and Waghemra districts were surveyed.
Descriptive statistics and a generalised additive model were used for data analysis. Constraints affecting
the productivity of sorghum include moisture stress, insect pests, striga, farmland shortage, poor soil fertility,
diseases, and low-yielding local cultivars. Among the constraints, drought at the grain-filling stage was identified
as the most important production problem in the target region. The productivity of sorghum was also hindered
by the use of local drought-tolerant but low-yielding landraces, because farmers had been forced to abandon
high-yielding and late-maturing landrace cultivars because of the frequent occurrence of drought. To enhance
sorghum productivity, farmers’ knowledge and practices, and production constraints need to be integrated from the
initial stages of breeding and technology development.

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