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Potential of Sorghum and Finger Millet to Enhance Household Food Security in Zimbabwe's Semi-arid Regions: A Review

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  • Mukarumbwa, P.
  • Mushunje, Abbyssinia
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    Abstract

    Successive droughts, in Zimbabwe compounded by other economic shocks in recent years have resulted in decreased maize productivity amongst the communal farmers most of whom reside in regions IV and V which are considered semi-arid. This has given rise to the need to find alternative food crops, which may be suitable for these areas. Generally, research in the world indicates that sorghum and millet have the potential to end chronic food insecurity in semi-arid areas because of their drought tolerance. Whilst this might be the case, research, government policy and assistance from non-governmental organizations on food crop production in Zimbabwe have shown a continual inclination to maize production in semi-arid areas. However, maize is regarded as a high risk crop in these regions. The main objective of this paper is to review relevant literature on the potential contribution of small grains to alleviate household food security in semi arid regions of African countries with specific focus on Zimbabwe. These findings will enable developing countries to craft a policy shift that encourage increased production of finger millet and sorghum in their semi-arid regions. It is suggested that this may increase household food security in these regions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) & Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) in its series 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa with number 96430.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaae10:96430

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    Keywords: semi-arid; sorghum; finger millet; small grains; food security; Crop Production/Industries;

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    1. Haile, H.K. & Alemu, Zerihun Gudeta & Kudhlande, G., 2005. "Causes Of Household Food Insecurity In Koredegaga Peasant Association, Oromiya Zone, Ethiopia," Working Paper Series 28074, University of the Free State, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    2. Eicher, Carl K., 1995. "Zimbabwe's maize-based Green Revolution: Preconditions for replication," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 805-818, May.
    3. Alumira, Jane & Rusike, Joseph, 2005. "The Green Revolution in Zimbabwe," eJADE: electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, vol. 2(1).
    4. Kidane, Habtom & Alemu, Zerihun Gudeta & Kundhlande, Godfrey, 2005. "Causes of household food insecurity in Koredegaga Peasant Association, Oromiya Zone, Ethiopia," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 44(4), December.
    5. Juana, James S. & Mabugu, Ramos E., 2005. "Assessment of smallholder's agriculture's contribution to the economy of Zimbabwe: A social accounting matrix multiplier analysis," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 44(3), September.
    6. Maxwell, Simon, 1996. "Food security: a post-modern perspective," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 155-170, May.
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