Several interventions are required in the small grain value chain so that they are streamlined into main stream food production in a development that will enhance food security.

Interventions are necessary to increase volumes, create sustainable markets, reduce high retail costs, drive commercialisation and increase consumption.

Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation show that small grains production improved significantly this year with pearl millet registering a 120 percent increase of 124 hectares from 56 000 hectares last year.

Sorghum production went up by 118 percent to 188 hectares from 86 000 hectares, but stakeholders in small grains production feel more needs to be done.

Agronomist, Mr Ivan Craig said there is need to promote small grains production in dry ecological regions and sensitise farmers that they can unlock commercial value.

Orgrains director, Mrs Josephine Mashongwa who is involved in marketing of small grains believes consumers have to be educated about nutritional aspects of foods like millet, rapoko and sorghum.

Food processors should lead the way in boosting small grains production by contracting farmers particularly small holder growers said Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Association Trust president, Mrs Depinah Nkomo.

The promotion of small grains has been high on government food security agenda in the past few years while the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid TropicsĀ  (ICRISAT) has been instrumental in assisting communities produce small grains through research, training processing, packaging and branding of small grains.