International network for natural sciences – research journal
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Utilization of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench.) hybrids in Kenya: A review

By: Moses Oyier, James Owuoche, Erick Cheruiyot, Maurice Oyoo, Justice Rono

Key Words: Sorghum, Hybridization, Hybrid, Food security.

Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res. 9(6), 65-76, December 2016.

Abstract

Hybrid seeds are known to increase productivity of many crops including sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench). This review was conducted to reveal the extent of sorghum hybrid seed utilization in Kenya and how non-utilization constrains sorghum production. Hybridization is one of the major discoveries that contributed to the green revolution which saved countries that were at the brink of famine. Although this is generally known, utilization of sorghum hybrid seeds is uncommon in Kenya. Even though low productivity is associated with climatic, edaphic, economic and agronomic factors, the contribution of the genotype cannot be ignored. The use of sorghum hybrid seeds has the potential to increase sorghum production for food, malting, brewing, baking, ethanol and fodder. Sorghum has both industrial and domestic utility making it an excellent crop for improving livelihood of rural communities living in agriculturally low potential areas in Kenya. Being a C4 crop, it has the ability to grow well in a wide range of climatic conditions making it an important crop for a country like Kenya. The use of hybrid seeds can be justified for almost all crops. However, for a multipurpose crop like sorghum, utilization of hybrid seeds cannot be ignored. Suggestions on how to improve the utilization of sorghum hybrid seeds have also been made.

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