Meeting sorghum producers


Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, France – over the past several months, the Sorghum ID teams have travelled to talk about production methods and the importance of sorghum in farms. The trips have provided important opportunities to gain better knowledge and understanding of the potential and challenges that stand before the crop.

Being able to talk to producers face to face, during the field days, at the farm trade shows or during our visits in the field has been the best way of determining what motivates or slows down the development of sorghum in the European farms”, Martin Gomez – Head of promotion activities with the FNPSMS and European promotion actions regarding sorghum – told us. He also spoke to us about the main lessons learnt from these meetings.


Bulgaria, Romania: Motivated Farmers, Waiting for Outlets

During the field days held in Dobrich, Bulgaria between July 25 through 27 and the FarmConect trade show in Slobozia, Romania, from August 31 through September 3, a good number of farmers expressed their interest in sorghum. Many of them are already familiar with the crop because they have either grown it themselves or they saw their parents grow it in their youth. The farmers believe they have the technical ability and the equipment needed to grow the crop on their farms. They appreciate that they have the right soil and climate conditions for sorghum, and that the crop’s rustic profile – particularly its low input needs – constitute an advantage. They are, therefore, in favour of growing sorghum”, says Martin Gomez; “however, they remain cautious or even reticent, because for the time being, outlets remain few and far between”. The insight into the industry that these events allowed us indicates the need to work on the downstream sector as a key element for the development of sorghum in these countries.

Field days in Dobrich, Bulgaria


Farmers in Turkey: Sorghum Ambassadors

This has been the third year that we take part in the Tekirdag field days”, Martin Gomez says “and it has been a pleasure to get back together with farmers whom we met in previous years – and also see how the crop has developed in this country”. In general, Martin has been able to see that the farmers who “tried out” the crop have had good results and continue to grow it. “We have even seen farmers at our stand that had already grown the crop on their farms and were giving advice to other farmers interested in growing it! They come to share their experience with their colleagues and with us – it’s fascinating!” To-date, the sorghum that is grown in Turkey is mostly used as feed on the farms that grow it. It would be useful if the downstream industry could grow, so that other market outlets can develop.

Field days in Tekirdag, Turkey


France: Study Tour for Opinion Leaders

A study tour to France was organised between September 25th and 29th, upon the initiative of the FNPSMS, gathering together about twenty opinion leaders in agriculture, from Italy, Spain, France, Romania, and Bulgaria. “The trip focused on France’s corn seed multiplication industry and on the various benefits of corn and sorghum”, says Martin Gomez. The group visited seed production units belonging to establishments that are members of the FNPSMS, such as seed multiplication farmer unions, cooperatives specialised in seed production, and the experiment station of ARVALIS – the country’s technical institute specialised in crops, at its headquarters in Ouzouère-le-Marché.


Several articles were published in the European press after the trip:

Profitul Agricol Romania Nr37 (in Romanian)

Profitul Agricol Romania Nr38 (in Romanian)

Pezzo su Terra e Vita (in italian)

Pezzo su Informatore Agrario (in italian)

Corriere agricolo (in italian) (in spanish) (in spanish) (in spanish)

Programme de la conférence  (in french)

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