Item Details

Title: Cereal Crops: Rice, Maize, Millet, Sorghum, Wheat

Date Published: 2015
Author/s: Dr Harold Macauley
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Africa with its vast land area covering 3 billion ha has 1.3 billion ha of agricultural land out
of which only 252 million ha (19.36 %) is arable (2011, FAO). Africa is the center of origin
and also a major producer of several cereals like sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, teff and
African rice. Another major cereal, maize, has overtaken these traditional cereals while wheat
is widely cultivated in North Africa and in Sudan and Ethiopia. Agriculture is the ‘engine for
growth’ in Africa. With subsistence agriculture practiced by majority small holder farmers,
yield gaps are high and poor soils, amongst other constraints add to the difficulties for
sustainable farming and incomes. Cereals like Sorghum, Millets, Wheat, Maize and Rice are
major staple foods of the most population. These cereals are grown over an area of 98.6 m ha
producing 162 m tons (Table1).

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