Sorghum in the 21st Century Conference

  • 28th April 2018
  • by secretary

9-12 April 2018. Cape Town South Africa. Sorghum in the 21st Century Conference

On the programme were 5 cross-cutting themes:

  1. Accelerating progress in advanced breeding for improved crop adaptation to climate risks
  2. Improving productivity and increasing profitability to expand opportunities across global markets
  3. Enhancing resilience in the face of biotic and abiotic challenges
  4. Tackling key issues in food security and farming systems for improved livelihoods for the smallholder farmer
  5. Exploring the future of the value-added: Nutrition, biofuels and feedstuffs for evolving consumer demands

Symposium #1: Productivity and food security for the smallholder farmer
A presentation focusing on variety improvements, agronomy, post-harvest technologies and markets for sorghum, with particular reference to smallholder farmers. It was followed by a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Smallholder Sorghum Farmers: Constraints, challenges and opportunities’.

Symposium #2: A driver for change: Sorghum’s role in global markets
Important global trends and opportunities to increase demand and reduce supply bottlenecks of sorghum. The symposium included an overview plenary on global trends on the production, consumption and trade of sorghum and highlighted keys issues affecting trade opportunities. Three sessions, focusing on important issues affecting sorghum supply and demand followed. 

Symposium #3: Bringing Ancient Grains to the World’s Dinner Tables
This symposium was jointly organised by AACC International and the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC). It focused on developments in Ancient grains particularly understanding their nutritional and health-promoting attributes. Experts explored the science and technology of how to process Ancient grains into mainstream food and beverage products to bring the nutritional and health-promoting benefits of these climate-friendly grain staples to consumers worldwide.

Special Session #1: Regional Issues, Sorghum in Southern Africa

This session presented a platform for in-depth discussions and deliberations around sorghum issues specific to the Southern African region. The talks were delivered by expert scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs on various aspects of the sorghum value chain in sub-Saharan Africa followed by a moderated discussion featuring a panel of experts to identify and prioritise specific actions that need to be taken to boost the sorghum value chain in sub-Saharan Africa and the responsibilities required of various role players, stakeholders and entities within the value chain.

Special Session #2: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

(ICRISAT), Special Session on Improvement of Post-Rainy Sorghum

During the past almost 10 years, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the University of Queensland, have been working together on a project to improve fodder/grain quality/productivity of post-rainy sorghum in India, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR). This project was a multi-disciplinary endeavour combining physiology, breeding, crop modelling, nutritional quality and socio-economics to develop genetic material targeted to end-user demand in the target region. This project has gathered an outstanding set of research outputs that was showcased in a special session of the 2018 Global Sorghum Conference. This special session was also be an opportunity to share similar experiences from other projects.