Feed the Future Releases Two New Sorghum Varieties in Nicaragua
With support from a Feed the Future grant and in partnership with the Instituto Nicaraguense de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA), the Collaborative Research Support Program for Sorghum, Millet and Other Grains has released two new varieties of sorghum in Nicaragua that will be used for forage (plant material eaten by grazing livestock).
These new varieties exhibit the “brown midrib” trait (bmr), which has been used for many years by sorghum producers in the United States. The bmr trait increases the digestibility of sorghum by reducing the amountof lignin, a chemical compound found in the cell walls of plants. The more digestible sorghum is for the livestock that consume it, the higher the quality of these animals’ meat and milk production. The new sorghum varieties therefore have the potential to improve the value of livestock for smallholder farmers and to increase the nutrition of their food products.
Nicaragua is one of seven countries in Central America (also including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Panama) for which Feed the Future is adapting and deploying the bmr technology in cooperation with national programs. Farmers are also being trained in bmr seed production to rapidly build up the seed supply throughout the seven target countries.