Sorghum improvement in the Gambia


The sorghum improvement programme carried out in the Gambia is reviewed. The initial emphasis of this was on ascertaining the characteristics and potential of the local cultivars, with the result that they were all found to be of the guinea race basically very similar, well adapted to the environment, with a ceiling yield of 2000kg/ha. With this knowledge criteria were formulated to enable selection of exotic sorghums to be done critically and objectively. A large number of exotic cultivars have been screened but only a few were of real interest. The main trouble was the difficulty in finding cultivars with are, intermediate period to maturity of 125 days; most or those that were tested matured either too early or too late. The potential or sorghum production in the Gambia was demonstrated by grain yields of over 4t/ha, with a non-hybrid cultivar. The use of the early maturing cultivars within the farming system and the effect of the changing climate in this part or the world are discussed.