Sorghum value chain analysis in semi-arid Zimbabwe
The role of extension in strengthening relationships among stakeholders along agricultural commodity value chains remains an important discussion point especially with orphan crops in semi-arid areas. The study used a participatory framework to analyse the sorghum value chain in the Mid Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe. A sample comprising of 380 small scale farmers, proportionately selected from five major sorghum producing wards, was used. Six agrodealers, 15 traders, 10 retailers, three wholesalers, and two processors were also sampled. In
addition, focus group discussions, informant interviews, questionnaires and reviews of records were conducted. Input supply systems for sorghum are weakly developed and production is stalled by inappropriate innovations including seed and fertilizer application. Marketing and processing channels are limited due to erratic supply and low producer prices. Demand for sorghum inputs can be created by engaging extension agents in helping farmers with realising the benefits of using improved sorghum seed varieties and fertilizer in sorghum production. This will smoothen the flow of sorghum products along strategic value chain nodes.
Keywords: Sorghum, small scale farmers, value chain, extension networks, marketing margins, agribusiness