Economics

Top Sorghum Producing Countries in the World

The United States leads the world in sorghum production.

Sorghum is a cereal plant drawn from the grass family and has been ranked among the top leading cereals grown around the world. Early species of sorghum were discovered in Australia, Africa, Indian Ocean, Mesoamerica, as well as parts of the Pacific Ocean. Sorghum grows well in areas with warm climates. The crop is grown for both domestic consumption and as a cash crop. Sorghum has a wide range of uses, which include human food, animal feed, and the production of alcoholic beverages, and biofuels. Nutritionists categorize sorghum as very healthy, as it is rich with essential nutrients that are significant in the body. Given its nutritional and increasing commercial value, many regions around the world are involved in the large scale production of the crop.

​ Top 4 Sorghum Producing Countries

United States of America

Statistics drawn from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT) ranked the USA as the world's leading producer of sorghum, with a production total of 11.5 million metric tons. As a cereal, sorghum is the 3rd most produced grain in the country. The country has several regions that yield large sorghum harvests, including Colorado, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Farmers mainly use the crop as livestock food and in the production of ethanol.

India

Regions with semi-arid climate in India choose to cultivate sorghum. Due to the ideal climate, locals do not require supplementary mechanisms, such as irrigation, to facilitate the growth of the crop. Sorghum also requires minimal fertilizers, which makes its cultivation economical. This has made India the second largest producer of sorghum in the world. FAOSTAT data indicate that India produces an average of 7.5 million metric tons of sorghum. The areas in India where sorghum is largely grown include the Maharashtra and Karnataka regions.

Nigeria

Nigeria ranks as the top sorghum producing country in Africa, and the 3rd largest in the world. FAOSTAT data estimates the average production of sorghum in Nigeria to be 7.4 million metric tons, almost equaling India, which ranks second with 7.5 million metric tons. The savanna climate in Nigeria is among the leading factors why the crop does well within the country. Sorghum in Nigeria is mostly grown for food, while other minor uses includes livestock food and industrial raw material for production of malt and beer.

Mexico

Corn in Mexico is the leading crop, as it provides locals with their significant food. In fact, Mexico has become a major supplier of corn to other countries across the world. The ideal climate behind the successful growth of corn also supports the growth of sorghum, and the country joins the world's leading producers of sorghum. The average production, as per FAOSTAT, is 6.1 million metric tons.

Conclusion

Sorghum is widely grown across the world because of its diverse use options. The plant can be grown relatively economically as both a cash and food crop.

Top Sorghum Producing Countries in the World

RankCountrySorghum Production (Million Metric Tons, Avg 1994-2014) Source: FAOSTAT
1United States11.5
2India7.5
3Nigeria7.4
4Mexico6.1
5Sudan4.4
6Sudan (former)3.7
7China3.1
8Argentina2.9
9Ethiopia2.2
10Australia1.9

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