Eastern Province is a major sorghum growing zone in Kenya. There exist different composites, landraces, open pollinated and wild relatives of sorghum that are not yet known. The landraces continue to be maintained by cultural preferences and traditional practices by the farmers. Germplasm collection of landraces was done in four regions; Mbeere, Makueni, Kitui and Mutomo in the eastern province of Kenya which are major sorghum growing zones. At time of collection information on traits preferred, seed source and variety type was recorded for each accession. The seed color and name of region collected were used to identify the different landraces. Forty four different landraces were collected from different farmers in the region. Mbeere region had the most landraces available with diverse colorations a clear indication of a possibility of sorghum complex in this particular region compared to Kitui, Mutomo and Makueni. The landraces are unique in their adaptation, food quality, grain yield, quality of harvested products, biotic stress resistance and post-harvest processing. These untapped resources could be useful in crop improvement programmes and in food security. The decline in use of the landraces may erode the genetic base and prevent use of distinctive traits in crop adaptation and improvement.
Key words: Crop improvement, diversity, food security, germplasm, landraces.
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