Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar yesterday said multinational companies such as the breweries now use sorghum grits as adjunts up to 40 per cent to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including breakfast cereals and confectioneries.
This new wave of industrial relevance and high demand followed the federal government’s years of investments in developing sorghum into improved varieties.
According to the minister, the federal government has been promoting sorghum production and value addition towards self-sufficiency to meet industrial requirement of the country.
Dr Abubakar who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday during the presentation of report by Sorghum Technical Committee to streamline the existing varieties to meet food and industrial demand also said that other food products which sorghum serves as one of the ingredients are Indomie, spaghetti and macaroni as well as non-food industrial use of it grits in aluminium – ore refining, animal feeds, building materials and in foundry binders.
The minister described the achievement as quantum leap value which will enhance farmers’ income, attract more youth to sorghum cultivation to meet national demand and contribute to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said, “The prevalence of many varieties and cultivars was identified as the major problem leading to low sorghum productivity resulting in the supply shortfall, the varieties in most cases are not what are needed by our food industries, this necessitated the need to streamline the existing varieties in order to meet our food and industrial needs.
To achieve the above objective, the Ministry set up the Sorghum Technical Committee to streamline the existing varieties and find other ways of improving productivity and quality of sorghum produce”.