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Review of highland sorghum improvement research in Ethiopia

Semahegn Zigale, Teressa Temesgen

Abstract: Sorghum is the most well-known helpful cereal crop for poor farmers in Ethiopia’s dry lowland areas due to it’s a high yielding, drought tolerant, nutrient use efficiency crop that can be grown over 80 % of the worlds’ cultivated land. It has many advantages in the economic lives of the farmers in the highlands of the country. It is a source of food, feed, fuel, construction, fencing to poor farmers of Ethiopia. Though, many biological and environmental stresses are reducing grain yield increment. Foliar and grain diseases are one of the main biological stresses limiting sorghum production and productivity in the high and intermediate rainfall areas of Ethiopia. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to review the current state of highland sorghum improvement in Ethiopia’s highlands. Breeders, pathologists, agronomists, and research extension workers have all worked hard to overcome the constraints. In addition, the national sorghum research program is focusing on developing tolerant varieties that can withstand a variety of pressures by backcrossing tolerant characteristics into existing potential landraces and elite advanced lines. Due to many yield-limiting conditions, the crop’s production is well below its potential. Sorghum breeding began in Ethiopia in the early 1950s to solve important production difficulties that contributed to low productivity, and as a result, a number of improved varieties have been offered to farmers. Since 1978, research and development efforts previous to Ethiopian sorghum enhancement have been studied. Generally, believe that future productivity will most likely increase as a result of the integration of a diverse collection of mutually beneficial disciplines and organizations with varying priorities in technology development, advancement, promotion, and market/product production. Multidisciplinary methodologies, system sustainability with temporal and spatial intensification, and participation of essential stakeholders, including farmers, in the technological development, increase, promotion, and proper intervention in production are also of interest.
Keywords: tolerant / stresses / Ethiopia / highland sorghum improvement / drought / diverse / rainfall

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