International Sorghum and Millet Collaborative Research Support Program (INTSORMIL CRSP)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Presented at the Sorghum Food Enterprise and Technology Development in Southern Africa Workshop, in Lusaka, Zambia, December 6-9, 2010.


Copyright 2010, the authors. Used by permission.


Problem: Sorghum and millet productivity, production and consumption have been stagnant or declining for 20 years.

Challenge: How to increase the productivity and incomes of sorghum and millet farmers to improve food security and accelerate economic growth.

Solution: Better technology and linking producers to markets are important parts of the solution to the problem.


Examine the effects of new production and marketing technology on sorghum and millet producers’ income and productivity in Tanzania and Zambia.

Identify better technologies, enhance market linkages between producers and buyers, improve quality and diversify utilization to ensure food security and increase farm income.

Conclusions: Value Chain

Processors are a most important anchor in the value chain.

Processors need regular supplies of grain for processing; they can provide stability to the market.

Processors can be an assured market for smallholder crops.

Major problems in supplying sorghum and millet to commercial channels are small holder access to these markets, small amounts for sale, erratic supply, & quality problems.

Processors can be change agents to improve value chain performance.

Need to build trust & improve communication among actors in value chain.

Value chain needs a level playing field that rewards all members.

Contracting may be a means to reduce processor risks of price, adequate supplies, quality and reliability.

Farmer associations, NGO’s and others may be a way to increase smallholder access to markets & reduce assembly costs.