Contribution of sorghum production towards household food security in Tanzania: a case study of Singida Region
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Sorghum is one of the most drought tolerant cereal crops currently under cultivation. Semi-arid regions in Tanzania are among of the areas cultivating sorghum to a large extent, and these regions are most vulnerable to food insecurity. Despite the assumption that sorghum has contribution on household food security, a wide assessment has not been done in Tanzania to examine the extent of its contribution. The study intended to: determine the quantity of sorghum and other grains produced in households per year, assess the consumption pattern of sorghum grain in households in Singida District, assess food sources in the household(that is,purchased, home produced or acquired in kind) and compare the food status of sorghum producers‘ and non-producer‘ households. In Singida District food insecurity is still persistent to a large extent; so the district was taken as the case study. A cross- sectional research design was used during data collection. Various methods were used in data collection in which focus group discussion, key informant interviews and questionnaire survey were employed. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses using Statistical Package for Social Sciences were employed. Based on binary logistic regression, education, employment, household size and age were not significant in influencing household food security. Extension service was observed to have positive significant (p=0.034) influence to the household on becoming food secure. Sorghum was observed to contribute about 25% to household food consumption. From these results sorghum contributed to households‘ food security to the large extent in semi-arid areas. Hence in the semi-arid regions in which vulnerability to food insecurity is high, sorghum production should be more emphasized so that to reduce the issue of chronic food insecurity due to the fact that this crop is tolerant to drought conditions.
Sorghum, Sorghum production, Sorghum cultivating, Singida Region, Tanzania, Household food security, Cereal crops