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