Sorghum needs more promotion and there is a need for a true EU sorghum industry. This was stated at the 1st European Sorghum Congress, held in Bucharest last November. Luckily, there is money available to do so.
The call was soon followed by the European Commission’s clearance for a €1.17 million grant, of which €870,000 will be spread over a 3-year period. The money will be used to promote the crop across Europe, as of spring 2017. This should spur the development of a coherent strategy for sorghum, confirming the interest in the crop.
The French National Federation of maize and sorghum seed producers (F.N.P.S.M.S.) called for the grant in spring 2016. Last December, the F.N.P.S.M.S. was notified by the European Commission that the grant and the plans to promote sorghum were approved.
The promotion programmes will be concentrated on 2 distinct geographical regions: 5 EU countries (France, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania) and 2 Eastern European countries (Russia and Ukraine).
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Now that the funding agreements have been signed by FranceAgriMer (representing the French Ministry of Agriculture and the European Commission in the matter) and the F.N.P.S.M.S., the promotion can start soon (spring 2017). It will start by improving knowledge about the crop and increasing public awareness about its benefits, in order to contribute to its development in Europe. The action plans will include various activities, such as field trials, technical manuals, trainings, dedicated websites, TV ads, press tours, promotion materials, etc.