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Colombians Subsidise Sorghum to Beat El Nino

18 September 2015

COLOMBIA – Colombia’s ministry of Agriculture hopes planting a new sorghum variety will bolster forage reserves through peak drought conditions around the New Year.

Around 23,000 tons of Sweet Sorghum JJT18 is expected to be harvested in December 2015 and January 2016, as part of ongoing state efforts to subsidise cattle feeding.

A government spokesperson said 15,000 tonnes is already “guaranteed”.

The variety, expected to have lower production costs than corn, better drought tolerance and increased dry matter yield under dry conditions, will be harvested during what the government says will be the “most critical” drought period.

In total, this year’s state funding of cattle feed has totalled over $10 million, said Minister Aurelio Iragorri Valencia this week.

Earlier, the state made 18,000 tons of cattle feed available from 65 warehouses across the country.

Minister Valencia said: “We have opened storage in departments with the highest degree of drought risk, such as around the Atlantic coast.

“We want to mitigate the negative effects on small and medium sized producers, subsidizing 50 per cent of the market for food value in their herds.”

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