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


Document Type



Kansas State Research and Extension Contribution Number: 12-192-D, 2012.


Copyright 2012, Kansas State University. Used by permission.


As a result of the offsetting effect of a rise in productivity and decline in harvested area, the world sorghum production (tonnes) has been on a horizontal trend. The combined effect of a decline in area harvested and a rise in yield productivity have resulted in an overall increase in world millet production (tonnes) trend.

During the last three decades, significant numbers of breeding lines, parental stocks, germplasm and cultivars have been released through INTSORMIL/host countries collaboration around the world. Some of the remarkable breeding success stories include the release of the first hybrid sorghum Hageen Dura (HD-1) and Striga tolerant varieties in Sudan; the introduction and release of Sureno sorghum variety in Honduras ; and numerous other releases in various other African and Latin American countries such as Mali (Malisor lines with excellent head bug resistance, N'Tenimissa-tan plant guinea type cultivars), Niger (high yielding varieties as well as drought resistant hybrids ), Nigeria (LCICMH-I -a pearl millet hybrid with early maturing characteristic), Zambia ( improved varieties such as Kuyuma and Sima and hybrids such as MMSH-928 for drought prone areas , MMSH-1324 for resistant to most diseases, and MMSH-1256 widely adapted to most of the country) and Ethiopia (Striga resistant varieties such as Gubiye, Abshir and Brhan), Columbia (two varieties, Sorgo Real 40 and Sorgo Real 60 that are tolerant to Al and salt ).

On a global coverage, the average rate of return to sorghum and millet agricultural R&D investments is about 60 percent per year which is in the range of the average rate of return estimated for agricultural R&D investments. Despite the positive and promising returns to investment in sorghum and millet researches, there appears to be limited economic analysis done in such endeavors. It is important to increase the impact assessment studies to provide empirical support to investments in sorghum and millet improvement technologies. INTSORMIL host countries have benefited from a significant amount of cultivar releases over the last three decades. Based on INTSORMIL reports and successful releases as well as potential adoptions, more impact assessment type of studies should be done in general in Asia (India) and the United States as well. Other countries for that deserve economic impact assessment are: Honduras (for example the variety Sureno), Columbia (aluminum/salt tolerant varieties), Mali, Niger and Zambia (all with multiple cultivars) particularly based on the significant amount of varietal releases in record during the life span of INTSORMIL. Analysis of dynamics of the data on the area harvested during INTSORMIL’s lifespan would also show that Nigeria, Niger- for example SEPON82 is the most adapted cultivar in Southern Maradi region of Niger7 -, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Uganda have seen an increase in the area harvested (ha) to Sorghum that lends support to the need to undertake impact assessment studies.

So many reports reveal that quite significant amount of releases are already out there for farmers to use. In spite of the successful research and development progress shown through INTSORMIL in particular and local and international research centers in general, nonetheless, the lack of functional technology transfer institutions continue to pose significant impediments for the overall solutions to development in agriculture.

In general, it is observed that the majority of the economic impact assessment studies were evaluations of past R&D investments (ex-post type analyses) and even more so in the Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Even though, the amount of such ex-post studies is by no means enough, it is essential to consider that adequate economic impact assessment studies (ex-ante type) be undertaken to help aid in the crafting of effective technology introductions and policy designs.