Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
German Cameroon was an African colony of the German Empire from 1884 to 1916 in the region of today's Republic of Cameroon. German Cameroon included northern parts of Gabon and the Congo with western parts of the Central African Republic, southwestern parts of Chad and far eastern parts of Nigeria; the first German trading post in the Duala area on the Kamerun River delta was established in 1868 by the Hamburg trading company C. Woermann; the firm's agent in Gabon, Johannes Thormählen, expanded activities to the Kamerun River delta. In 1874, together with the Woermann agent in Liberia, Wilhelm Jantzen, the two merchants founded their own company, Jantzen & Thormählen there. Both of these West Africa houses expanded into shipping with their own sailing ships and steamers and inaugurated scheduled passenger and freight service between Hamburg and Duala; these companies and others obtained extensive acreage from local chiefs and began systematic plantation operations, including bananas. By 1884, Adolph Woermann, representing all West African companies as their spokesman, petitioned the imperial foreign office for "protection" by the German Empire.
Bismarck, the Imperial Chancellor, sought to utilize the traders on site in governing the region via "chartered companies". However, in response to Bismarck's proposal, the companies withdrew their petition. At the core of the commercial interests was pursuit of profitable trading activities under the protection of the Reich, but these entities were determined to stay away from political engagements. Bismarck yielded to the Woermann position and instructed the admiralty to dispatch a gunboat; as a show of German interest, the small gunboat SMS Möwe arrived in West Africa. Germany was interested in Cameroon's agricultural potential and it was entrusted to large firms to exploit and export it. Chancellor Bismarck defined the order of priorities as follows: "first the merchant the soldier", it was under the influence of businessman Adolph Woermann, whose company set up a trading house in Douala, that Bismarck skeptical about the interest of the colonial project, was convinced. Large German trading companies and concession companies established themselves massively in the colony.
Letting the big companies impose their order, the administration supported them, protected them and eliminated indigenous rebellions. Germany was planning to build a great African empire, which would connect Kamerun through the Congo to its East African possessions; the German Foreign Minister said shortly before the First World War that the Belgian Congo was too large a colony for a country too small. The protectorate of Kamerun was established during the period known as Europe's imperialist "Scramble for Africa"; the German explorer, medical doctor, imperial consul and commissioner for West Africa, Gustav Nachtigal, was the driving force toward the colony's establishment. By well over a dozen German companies, based in Hamburg and Bremen, conducted trading and plantation activities in Kamerun. With imperial treasury subsidies, the colony built two rail lines from the port city of Duala to bring agricultural products to market: the Northern line of 160-kilometre to the Manenguba mountains, the 300-kilometre long mainline to Makak on the river Nyong.
An extensive postal and telegraph system and a river navigation network with government ships connected the coast to the interior. The Kamerun protectorate was enlarged with Neukamerun in 1911 as part of the settlement of the Agadir Crisis, resolved by the Treaty of Fez. At the outbreak of World War I, French and British troops invaded the German colony in 1914 and occupied it during the Kamerun campaign; the last German fort to surrender was the one at Mora in the north of the colony in 1916. Following Germany's defeat, the Treaty of Versailles divided the territory into two League of Nations mandates under the administration of Great Britain and France. French Cameroun and part of British Cameroons reunified in 1961 as Cameroon. In 1914 a series of drafts were made for proposed Coat of Flags for the German Colonies. However, World War I broke out before the designs were finished and implemented and the symbols were never taken into use. Following the defeat in the war, Germany lost all its colonies and the prepared coat of arms and flags were therefore never used.
German West African Company History of Cameroon Neukamerun Index: German colonisation in Africa German South West Africa Togoland German East Africa Elo Sambo Kamerun Campaign DeLancey, Mark W.. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3775-7. OCLC 43324271. Gorges, E. Howard; the Great War in West Africa. London: Hutchinson & Co. Haupt, Werner. Deutschlands Schutzgebiete in Übersee 1884–1918. Friedberg: Podzun-Pallas Verlag. ISBN 3-7909-0204-7. Hoffmann, Florian. Okkupation und Militärverwaltung in Kamerun. Etablierung und Institutionalisierung des kolonialen Gewaltmonopols. Göttingen: Cuvillier Verlag. ISBN 9783867274722. "German Cameroons 1914". UniMaps. 2004. Archived from the original on 4 April 2013. Map of the territories exchanged between Germany at the Treaty of Fez. Schaper, Ulrike. Koloniale Verhandlungen. Gerichtsbarkeit, Verwaltung und Herrschaft in Kamerun 1884-1916. Frankfurt am Main 2012: Campus Verlag. ISBN 3-593-39639-4. Washausen, Helmut.
Hamburg und die Kolonialpolitik des Deutschen Reiches 1880 bis 1890 [Hamburg and Colonial Politics of th
Boko Haram insurgency
The Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, when the jihadist group Boko Haram started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. The conflict takes place within the context of long-standing issues of religious violence between Nigeria's Muslim and Christian communities, the insurgents' ultimate aim is to establish an Islamic state in the region. Boko Haram's initial uprising failed, its leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed by the Nigerian government; the movement fractured into autonomous groups and started an insurgency, though rebel commander Abubakar Shekau managed to achieve a kind of primacy among the insurgents. Though challenged by internal rivals, such as Abu Usmatul al-Ansari's Salafist conservative faction and the Ansaru faction, Shekau became the insurgency's de facto leader and kept the different Boko Haram factions from fighting each other, instead focusing on overthrowing the Nigerian government. Supported by other Jihadist organizations such as al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab, Shekau's tactics were marked by extreme brutality and explicit targeting of civilians.
After years of fighting, the insurgents became aggressive, started to seize large areas in northeastern Nigeria. The violence escalated in 2014, with 10,849 deaths, while Boko Haram drastically expanded its territories. At the same time, the insurgency spread to neighboring Cameroon and Niger, thus becoming a major regional conflict. Meanwhile, Shekau attempted to improve his international standing among Jihadists by tacitly aligning with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in March 2015, with Boko Haram becoming the "Islamic State's West Africa Province"; the insurgents were driven back during the 2015 West African offensive by a Nigeria-led coalition of African and Western states, forcing the Islamists to retreat into Sambisa Forest and bases at Lake Chad. Discontent about various issues grew among Boko Haram. Dissidents among the movement allied themselves with ISIL's central command and challenged Shekau's leadership, resulting in a violent split of the insurgents. Since Shekau and his loyalist group are referred to as "Boko Haram", whereas the dissidents continued to operate as ISWAP under Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
The two factions fought against each other while waging insurgencies against the local governments. After a period of reversals, Boko Haram and ISWAP launched new offensives in 2018 and 2019, again growing in strength. Boko Haram has been called the world's deadliest terrorist group, in terms of the number of people it has killed. Nigeria was amalgamated both the Northern and Southern protectorate in 1914, only about a decade after the defeat of the Sokoto Caliphate and other Islamic states by the British which were to constitute much of Northern Nigeria. Sir Frederick Lugard, assumed office as governor of both protectorates in 1912; the aftermath of the First World War saw Germany lose its colonies, one of, Cameroon, to French and British mandates. Cameroon was divided in French and British parts, the latter of, further subdivided into southern and northern parts. Following a plebiscite in 1961, the Southern Cameroons elected to rejoin French Cameroon, while the Northern Cameroons opted to join Nigeria, a move which added to Nigeria's large Northern Muslim population.
The territory made up much of what is now Northeastern Nigeria, a large part of the areas affected by the insurgency. Religious conflict in Nigeria dates as far back as 1953; the Igbo massacre of 1966 in the North that followed the counter-coup of the same year had as a dual cause the Igbo officers' coup and pre-existing tensions between the Igbos and the local Muslims. This was a major factor in the resulting civil war. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was a major Islamic uprising led by Maitatsine and his followers, Yan Tatsine that led to several thousand deaths. After Maitatsine's death in 1980, the movement continued some five years more. In the same decade the erstwhile military ruler of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida enrolled Nigeria in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference; this was a move which aggravated religious tensions in the country among the Christian community. In response, some in the Muslim community pointed out that certain other African member states have smaller proportions of Muslims, as well as Nigeria's diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, Sharia has been instituted as a main body of civil and criminal law in 9 Muslim-majority and in some parts of 3 Muslim-plurality states, when then-Zamfara State governor Ahmad Rufai Sani began the push for the institution of Sharia at the state level of government. This was followed by controversy as to the would-be legal status of the non-Muslims in the Sharia system. A spate of Muslim-Christian riots soon emerged. In the Islamic northern states of Nigeria, a variety of Muslim groups and populations exist, who favour the nationwide introduction of Sharia Law; the demands of these populations have been at least upheld by the Nigerian Federal Government in 12 states, firstly in Zamfara State in 1999. The implementation has been attributed as being due to the insistence of Zamfara State governor Ahmad Rufai Sani; the death sentences of Amina Lawal and Safiya Hussaini attracted international attention to what many saw as the harsh regime of these laws.
These sentences were overturned. Twelve out of Nigeria's thirty-six states have Sunni Islam as the dominant religion. In 1999, those states chose to have Sharia courts as well as Customary courts. A Sharia court may treat blasphemy as deserving of several punish
Nigeria the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country. Nigeria has been home to states over the millennia; the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, it experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.
Nigeria is referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18; the country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa and Yoruba. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided in half between Christians, who live in the southern part of the country, Muslims, who live in the north. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities; as of 2015, Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa's largest economy in 2014.
The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. However, it has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies, it is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC; the name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator; the origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa; the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo-Ukwu, a city under Nri influence; the Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively.
The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures. Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo; the Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 19th centuries, their dominance reached further. At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire; the territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria. For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lago
The Sudan is the geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to eastern Central Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān, or "the lands of the blacks", referring to West Africa and northern Central Africa; the Arabic name was translated as Negroland on older English maps. The name was understood to denote the western part of the Sahel region, it thus encompassed the geographical belt between the Sahara and the coastal West Africa. In modern usage, the phrase "The Sudan" is used in a separate context to refer to the present-day country of Sudan, the western part of which forms part of the larger region, from which South Sudan gained its independence in 2011; the Sudan region extends in some 5,000 km in a band several hundred kilometers wide across Africa. It stretches from the border of Senegal, through southern Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northern Nigeria, northern Ghana, southern Chad, the western Darfur region of present-day Sudan, South Sudan.
To the north of the region lies the Sahel, a more arid Acacia savanna region that in turn borders the Sahara Desert further north, to the east the Ethiopian Highlands. In the southwest lies the West Sudanian Savanna, a wetter, tropical savanna region bordering the tropical forests of West Africa. In the center is Lake Chad, the more fertile region around the lake, while to the south of there are the highlands of Cameroon. To the southeast is the East Sudanian Savanna, another tropical savanna region, bordering the forest of Central Africa; this gives way further east to the Sudd, an area of tropical wetland fed by the water of the White Nile. The people of the Sudan region share similar lifestyles, dictated by the geography of the region; the economy is pastoral, while sorghum and rice are cultivated in the southern parts of the region. The region was governed in colonial times by European powers, including the French ann the latter half of the 20th century. Sub-Saharan Africa Sudanian Savanna East Sudanian Savanna West Sudanian Savanna Readers Digest: Atlas of the World, Rand-McNally ISBN 0-276-42001-2
Cameroon the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the north. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although Cameroon is not an ECOWAS member state, it is geographically and in West Africa with the Southern Cameroons which now form her Northwest and Southwest Regions having a strong West African history; the country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa. French and English are the official languages of Cameroon; the country is referred to as "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, mountains and savannas; the highest point at 4,100 metres is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri river, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, Garoua.
The country is well known for its native styles of music makossa and bikutsi, for its successful national football team. Early inhabitants of the territory included the Sao civilisation around Lake Chad and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern rainforest. Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century and named the area Rio dos Camarões, which became Cameroon in English. Fulani soldiers founded the Adamawa Emirate in the north in the 19th century, various ethnic groups of the west and northwest established powerful chiefdoms and fondoms. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates; the Union des Populations du Cameroun political party advocated independence, but was outlawed by France in the 1950s, leading to the Bamileke War fought between French and UPC militant forces until early 1971. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroun under President Ahmadou Ahidjo.
The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972; the country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Large numbers of Cameroonians live as subsistence farmers. Since 1982 Paul Biya has been President, governing with his Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party; the country has experienced tensions coming from the English-speaking territories. Politicians in the English-speaking regions have advocated for greater decentralisation and complete separation or independence from Cameroon. In 2017, tensions in the English-speaking territories escalated into open warfare; the territory of present-day Cameroon was first settled during the Neolithic Era. The longest continuous inhabitants are groups such as the Baka. From here, Bantu migrations into eastern and central Africa are believed to have originated about 2,000 years ago; the Sao culture arose around Lake Chad, c. 500 AD, gave way to the Kanem and its successor state, the Bornu Empire.
Kingdoms and chiefdoms arose in the west. Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472, they noted an abundance of the ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus turneranus in the Wouri River and named it Rio dos Camarões, which became Cameroon in English. Over the following few centuries, European interests regularised trade with the coastal peoples, Christian missionaries pushed inland. In the early 19th century, Modibo Adama led Fulani soldiers on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and Muslim peoples and established the Adamawa Emirate. Settled peoples who fled the Fulani caused a major redistribution of population; the Bamum tribe have a writing system, known as Shu Mom. The script was given to them by Sultan Ibrahim Njoya in 1896, is taught in Cameroon by the Bamum Scripts and Archives Project. Germany began to establish roots in Cameroon in 1868 when the Woermann Company of Hamburg built a warehouse, it was built on the estuary of the Wouri River. Gustav Nachtigal made a treaty with one of the local kings to annex the region for the German emperor.
The German Empire claimed the territory as the colony of Kamerun in 1884 and began a steady push inland. The Germans ran into resistance with the native people who did not want the Germans to establish themselves on this land. Under the influence of Germany, commercial companies were left to regulate local administrations; these concessions used forced labour of the Africans to make a profit. The labour was used on banana, palm oil, cocoa plantations, they initiated projects to improve the colony's infrastructure, relying on a harsh system of forced labour, much criticised by the other colonial powers. With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919. France integrated the economy of Cameroon with that of France and improved the infrastructure with capital investments and skilled workers, modifying the system of forced labour; the British administered their territory from neighbouring Nigeria.
Natives complained that this made them a neglected "colony of a colony". Nigerian migrant workers flocked to Southern Cameroons, ending forced labour altogether but angering the local natives, who felt swamped. T
Sorghum bicolor called sorghum and known as great millet, jowari, or milo, is a grass species cultivated for its grain, used for food for humans, animal feed, ethanol production. Sorghum originated in Africa, is now cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. Sorghum is the world's fifth-most important cereal crop after rice, wheat and barley. S. bicolor is an annual, but some cultivars are perennial. It grows in clumps; the grain is small, ranging from 2 to 4 mm in diameter. Sweet sorghums are sorghum cultivars that are grown for forage, syrup production, ethanol. S. Bicolor is the cultivated species of sorghum; the leading producers of S. bicolor in 2011 were Nigeria, India and the United States. Sorghum grows in a wide range of temperatures, high altitudes, toxic soils, can recover growth after some drought, it has five features that make it one of the most drought-resistant crops: It has a large root-to-leaf surface area ratio. In times of drought, it rolls its leaves to lessen water loss by transpiration.
If drought continues, it goes into dormancy rather than dying. Its leaves are protected by a waxy cuticle, it uses C4 carbon fixation thus using only a third the amount of water. Richard Pankhurst reports that in 19th-century Ethiopia, durra was "often the first crop sown on newly cultivated land", explaining that this cereal did not require the thorough ploughing other crops did, its roots not only decomposed into a good fertilizer, but they helped to break up the soil while not exhausting the subsoil. Sorghum is cultivated in many parts of the world today. In the past 50 years, the area planted with sorghum worldwide had increased 66%. In many parts of Asia and Africa, its grain is used to make flat breads that form the staple food of many cultures; the grains can be popped in a similar fashion to popcorn. The species can be used as a source for making ethanol fuel, in some environments may be better than maize or sugarcane, as it can grow under harsher conditions, it has protein levels around 9%, enabling dependent human populations to subsist on it in times of famine, in contrast to regions where maize has become the staple crop.
It is used for making a traditional corn broom. The reclaimed stalks of the sorghum plant are used to make a decorative millwork material marketed as Kirei board. Sweet sorghum syrup is known as molasses in some parts of the U. S. although it is not true molasses. In China, sorghum is known as gaoliang, is fermented and distilled to produce one form of clear spirits known as baijiu of which the most famous is Maotai. Sorghum was ground and the flour was the main alternative to wheat in northern China for a long time. In India, where it is called jwaarie, jola, or jondhalaa, sorghum is one of the staple sources of nutrition. An Indian bread called jowar roti, or jolada rotti, is prepared from this grain. In some countries, sweet sorghum stalks are used for producing biofuel by squeezing the juice and fermenting it into ethanol. Texas A&M University in the United States is running trials to find the best varieties for ethanol production from sorghum leaves and stalks in the USA. In Taiwan, on the island called Kinmen, plain sorghum is made into sorghum liquor.
In Korea, it is cooked with rice. In Australia, South America, the United States, sorghum grain is used for livestock feed and in a growing number of ethanol plants. In Central America, tortillas are sometimes made using sorghum. Although corn is the preferred grain for making tortillas, sorghum is used and is well accepted in Honduras. White sorghum is preferred for making tortillas. In several countries in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, sorghum of both the red and white varieties is used to make traditional opaque beer. Red sorghum imparts a pinkish-brown colour to the beer. Sorghum is one of a number of grains used as wheat substitutes in gluten-free products, it is used in pasturage for livestock. Its use is limited, because the starch and protein in sorghum is more difficult for animals to digest than the starches and protein in corn. Research is being done to find a process. One study on cattle showed that steam-flaked sorghum was preferable to dry-rolled sorghum because it improved daily weight gain.
In hogs, sorghum has been shown to be a more efficient feed choice than corn when both grains were processed in the same way. The introduction of improved varieties, along with improved management practices, has helped to increase sorghum productivity. In India, productivity increases are thought to have freed up six million hectares of land; the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in collaboration with partners produces improved varieties of crops including sorghum. Some 194 improved cultivars of sorghum from the institute have been released. Research is being conducted to develop a genetic cross that will make the plant more tolerant to colder temperatures and to unravel the drought tolerance mechanisms, since it is native to tropical climates. In the United States, this is important because the cost of corn was increasing due to its use in ethanol production for addition to gasoline. Sorghum silage can be used as a replacement of corn silage in the diet for dairy cattle.
More research has found that sorghum has higher nutritional value compared to corn when feeding dairy