Development and Utilisation of Improved White-Seeded, Tan-Plant Grain Sorghum Cultivars in Mali

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Aboubacar Touré
Aissata Bengaly
Abocar O. Touré
Abdoulaye G. Diallo
Fatim Cissé
Mamourou Diourté
Niamoye Yaro
Abdoul W. Touré
Bourema Dembélé


The pedigree breeding method was successfully adopted to develop high yielding, white-seeded, grain sorghum cultivars with other attributes including “tan” plants, sensitivity to photoperiod and excellent adaptation to the Sudanian and Sahelian agro-ecological conditions in Mali. The new cultivars possess an excellent grain quality which added value for processing. The breeding process included crossing of local guinea race cultivars and improved or introduced Caudatum race varieties, selected from F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 generations, conducting yield and grain quality trials of advanced lines on station and on-farm with farmer participatory selection. Processing quality of the grain was evaluated through measuring the decortication yield of each cultivar using the TADD (Tangential Abrasive Dehuller Device); measuring shelf life of processed flour in bags made of polyethylene for 3 months; manufacturing of new products by partially substituting wheat flour with flour of new sorghum varieties in pastry and biscuits. The study revealed a series of improved lines with "tan" plants, white grain, Guinea race type characterised by a loose panicle, long glumes and a hard grain. The best example of new cultivars N’Tenimissa, was described as the first white, “tan” plant, straw-coloured glume, photoperiod sensitive and high yielding sorghum cultivar with a white endosperm, and a thin pericarp developed in Mali. The cultivar has almost the same decortication yield with already adopted varieties by farmers. Its flour yield is similar to that of local guinea cultivars, and its flour is nearly as white as wheat flour. The analysis of various organoleptic parameters indicated that partially substituting wheat with 20% sorghum flour made the preferred biscuit by consumers prompting the commercial manufacturing of a biscuit called Deliken by the General Alimentation du Mali (GAM). A commercial sorghum supply chain was initiated by linking smallholders producing the new cultivar to a grain trader for selling the grain to the industry. This shows a path for the future in the diversification of uses of a local staple crop, sorghum.  It is based on a strong Public-Private Partnership to link smallholders to the commercial supply chain, providing an incentive for farmers to grow new and highly productive cultivars for the development of value-added products.

Sorghum, Guinea, tan, white, flour diversification

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How to Cite
Touré, A., Bengaly, A., Touré, A. O., Diallo, A. G., Cissé, F., Diourté, M., Yaro, N., Touré, A. W., & Dembélé, B. (2018). Development and Utilisation of Improved White-Seeded, Tan-Plant Grain Sorghum Cultivars in Mali. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, 24(5), 1-10.
Original Research Article