Feed concertrates value chain and prospects for Sorghum utilization in Zambia

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Makeche, Sombo
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University of Zambia
Zambia, like most developing countries has a lot of people with low incomes and hence faces a critical need to find ways of improving these incomes in order to promote equity as well as national development. This could be done through the utilization of household crops such as sorghum in industry. One of such industries is the feed concentrate industry. Therefore, understanding the feed concentrate value chain and prospects for sorghum utilization is a central concern. The Zambian feed concentrate industry has been dependent on maize as the main grain in the feed. Recently, there has been an increase in the demand for feed as the livestock numbers in the country have been increasing. There is therefore need to promote the use of other grains such as sorghum. The result would be an improvement in smallholder farmers' productivity and ultimately an increase in their incomes as the sorghum they would produce would be demanded by the feed concentrate industry. A study was carried out in Lusaka district, aimed at understanding the feed concentrates value chain and prospects for sorghum utilization in Zambia. The main objective of the study was to understand new market opportunities and value chain constraints for sorghum in the Zambian feed concentrate industry.The structured questionnaire was the primary instrument used for data collection. Descriptive statistics were generated using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Parameters hypothesized to help understand the feed concentrates value chain and prospects for sorghum utilization were hypothesized using Porters Model. The key players of the feed concentrate value were identified to be maize farmers, small scale traders, commodity broker, feed manufacturers, distributors, retailers and livestock keepers. The opportunities for sorghum were found to exist. There was willingness to substitute sorghum for maize and the majority of the feed buyers interested in knowing the nutrient content suggested the use of sorghum in feed. The constraints were the lack of knowledge on the sorghum nutrient content by the key players and the feed manufacturers not being assured of a steady supply of sorghum to be used in feed production. In view of the findings it is recommended that feed manufacturers and sorghum farmers work together thorough contract farming so as to ensure that feed manufacturers have adequate supply of sorghum and farmers have a ready market. A n increase in the number of sorghum buyers would also encourage sorghum production among smallholder farmers. Furthermore, a proven formula should be created to provide knowledge on the nutrient content of sorghum and the nutrients it would provide for the livestock.
Student Project Report
Sorghum-Utilization , Sorghum-Zambia , Sorghum-Economic aspects-Zambia