Unravelling the Potential of Sweet Sorghum for Sugar Production in Kenya

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench is an important food and increasingly industrial crop and serves as a source for starch and sugars for biofuel production world wide and especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) Moench) is one of many types of cultivated sorghum, noted for its high sugar content in the stem juice. Even though the technologies to process sugar products from sweet-sorghum exits, the constraints for its large-scale cultivation are the limited availability of genotypes suited to different agro-climatic conditions in sub-Sahara Africa. Kenya the leading producer and consumer of sugar in Eastern and Central Africa currently only depends on sugarcane for sugar. The purpose of this study is to characterise sweet sorghum introductions from regional as well as international sources to support a breeding programme that will provide Kenyan and African farmers with high yielding sweet sorghum germplasm. The study will use a combination of molecular tools such as single sequence repeat (SSR) markers and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers, quantitative trait loci (QTL) identification as well as phenotypic profiling of sweet sorghum lines for sucrose. Outputs from the study will include germplasm that could directly be used for sucrose production and breeding lines for further improvement.
Extended Abstract for Crop Improvement
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Printed resource

The 2012 RUFORUM Biennial Conference is the third in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. The third Biennial Conference was attended by 657 participants.  This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Crop Improvement.