There are several types of sorghum varieties that can be used for different purposes and also for different classes of markets.

These include sorghum for food (ugali, uji etc) which include varieties like Seredo, Serena, IS8193, KARI Matama1, Kabuyu, KenSorg2, Sila, and Kensorg5 from different seed companies like Kenya seed, KALRO seed unit, Leldet seeds and Agriseed co.

There are also those that are used for making beer and have high malting qualities and East Africa Breweries (EABL) have been contracting farmers in many areas like Eastern Kenya (Machakos, Makueni, Tharaka etc) and Rift Valley (Nakuru, Narok, Baringo) to produce like Gadam, including those that were recently released by Egerton University in collaboration with EABL.

There also sweet sorghum varieties suitable for making Ethanol with large seed, sweet stems and large quantities of Brix which increases after harvesting heads like Hybrid Mtama-1 (KSBH-01).

There also are varieties that can be used in the baking industry to make bread, cakes etc and can replace wheat in the baking industry.

Lastly, for dual purpose sorghum varieties for farmers interested in both livestock fodder/grain and some grain for food, there are available varieties like BJ28, E1291, Sila and Ikinyaluka which produce both large biomass. These are mainly grown in highlands to medium altitudes 1500-2300m asl.

The best agro-ecozones for growing sorghum are medium to low altitude areas since most sorghum varieties require warm weather (temperatures 25-30c) like Western (Kakamega, Bungoma), Nyanza (Homabay, Siaya), Rift Valley (Kerio valley, Baringo, West Pokot, Turkana), Eastern (Embu, Makueni, Machakos) and most areas of the Coastal region.

Farmers should select varieties suitable for their regions but they need to ensure that they have good milling qualities, tolerance to bird damage and diseases like anthracnose and Ergot since they can cause huge losses to the planted crop.

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