Exploring Constraints and Opportunities for Sorghum Production in Dry Regions of Zimbabwe

Chamunorwa Silas(Zimbabwe Open University, Department of Agriculture, Masvingo Region Centre, P. O. Box 1210, Masvingo, Zimbabwe)
Sakadzo Nyasha(Department of Agricultural Economics and Development, Manicaland State University, P. Bag 7001, Mutare, Zimbabwe)
Kugedera Andrew Tapiwa(Zimbabwe Open University, Department of Agriculture, Masvingo Region Centre, P. O. Box 1210, Masvingo, Zimbabwe)


The objective of the study was to explore the constraints and opportunities for small-holder sorghum farmers in dry regions.Two hundred and fifty farmers were sampled by using the simple random and snowball sampling to provide the information that answered the research questions. Questionnaire and interviews were used as the research instruments. Out of 250 participants, 80% were males and 20% were females showing that more males were selected for the research. Data was coded and processed using excel. Descriptive statistics were used to describe results. Of all the participants, 4% were in the age range of 25-30 years, 10% in the age range of 31-35 years, 14% in the age range of 36-40 years, 16% in the age range of 41-45 years and 56% in the age range of 46 years and above. Out of all the participants, 20% attained primary education while 68% had attained secondary education. Only 12% had tertiary education. Results indicated availability of resources (60%) such as certified seed, fertilizers, herbicides and draught power as the major constraint in the production of sorghum. Lack  of technical knowhow (20%) of sorghum production, poor farming methods (9.6%) such as mono-cropping, Striga weed (12%), outbreak of fall armyworm (14.4%) and marketing of produce (8%) were also amongst the major constraints indicated by most participants. 66% of the 250 participants showed  that they produce sorghum due to its drought tolerant nature. Beer brewing was just slightly above half (52%) whilst making mealie meal was slightly below half (48%). Lack of knowledge, resources and poor markets hindered sorghum production in dry regions. Farmers were using retained seeds which are populated and affected by diseases and this contributed to low yields. Opportunities such as reducing poverty, food insecurity and income generation drives some farmers to venture into sorghum production.


Exploring; Constraints; Opportunities; Small holder; Subsidy; Zimbabwe

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