Sorghum and food security in Southern Africa: present and future research priorities of technical scientists
House, L. R.
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Maize, sorghum and pearl millet are important summer cereals in the SADCC region. Maize is by far the dominant crop. Generally, maize is grown in good farming environments, sorghum in drier areas and pearl millet in hot dry conditions. The yield potential of maize and sorghum is about the same, but that of pearl millet is less (50-60 percent) when all three crops are well managed and under conditions of no stress. Africa is a traditional sorghum - millet area but maize has encroached over the last 50-70 years and the process is still taking place. The reverse is true in Latin America, particularly Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil where sorghum has encroached into traditional maize growing areas. The Buenos Aires district of Argentina is an example where maize was the dominant crop and it was yielding 1750 kg/hectare. Over a period of years in the early-mid 1970s, the average yield of both sorghum and maize increased to 2250 kg/ha and sorghum replaced maize in the drier parts of the district.