The opportunities and barriers to perennial sorghum for ethiopian smallholders: consulting the experts and farmers
Brooks, Justin Tyler
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This document presents two qualitative studies investigating the potential benefit of perennial sorghum for smallholders. The first study interviewed experts on newly perennialized crops and experts on smallholder contexts. Findings indicate that pre-analytic choices create barriers that limit benefit capture and participation by smallholders. A model of the relationship between pre-analytic choices and barriers is presented. How pre-analytic choices limit participation and how to share decisive agency during perennial sorghum’s ongoing development are important considerations moving forward. The second study investigated smallholder farming contexts in eastern Ethiopia through observation and interviews with farmers to understand perennial sorghum’s potential fit within farming systems and the relevant knowledge smallholders possess to perennial sorghum’s development. Findings indicate smallholders possess extensive sorghum knowledge, practice ratooning, and maintain diverse sorghum germplasm. Enhancing sorghum’s ratooning ability, developing multiple varieties of perennial sorghum, and improving water access can benefit smallholders in the context investigated.