Sorghum bicolor, is commonly called sorghum. Or guinea corn, mabele, mashava (sh), mapfunde (sh), amabele (nde). And many more names internationally. It is a grass species cultivated for its grain. For human food, animal food, and ethanol production. Sorghum is the world's fifth-most important cereal crop (after rice, wheat, maize, and barley), with 59.34 million metric tons of annual global production in 2018. (Wikipedia.)


It is part of the group of small grains.


It is an annual grass, 2 to 3 meters high, with a close bunched head of round grain, of red, brown or white. A small grain, from 2 to 4 mm in diameter. [1]

Preparation / Uses

It is one of the main food crops of the lowveld, and other arid regions. It matures April to July. Traditionally and for home consumption, ripe heads are reaped and sun dried for two days, and the grain is then stored in the heads until required.

For use it is then threshed, winnowed, and pounded in a mortar. It may then be ground into flour.


  1. eaten raw as a gruel.
  2. cooked into thick porridge - comes out as a loaf.
  3. flat cakes - flour mixed with honey. Then boiled.
  4. sweet drink
  5. brewed to beer.

Health / Medicinal


There have been many calls for growers in low-rainfall areas (Rushinga, Mt Darwin, Mwenezi, and Chiredzi) to grow small grains. [2]

Further Reading

From Seed-Co, File:Sorghum Growers Guide.pdf

  1. [Margaret Tredgold, Food Plants of Zimbabwe; with old and new ways of preparation] (Mambo Press, Gweru, 1986) Retrieved 6 January 2021"
  2. [Call to grow small grains], The Herald, Published: 24 April 2019, Retrieved: 15 December 2021