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Liens:

- plaquette de présentation du fonio de la fédération
- Evaluation 2007 et Programme agricole 2008 de YNW

Version: 1.0
(mai, 2008)

Organic Fonio: cultivation and processing

Fonio is an ancestral cereal consumed locally during ceremonies. It has anti-diabetic properties and is cooked as semolina with different sauces (many recipes are on the internet).

Since 2003, the Federation has assisted 200 producers (mainly women) in the cultivation of organic fonio. The areas farmed are small (on average 1000m2) since harvesting with a sickle is fastidious work. The average yield is 350kg/ha.

Until 2006, the harvest (15 tonnes) which is certified organic fair trade by Ecocert, was exported by the company Gaia Bio Solidaire France after processing (husking and precooking) in Koussanar. Unhappy with this commercial partnership which was considered ‘unfair’, the producers of the Federation preferred to set up their own processing unit…

Processing: precooking and husking

The fonio is first passed through the grader to eliminate large items of waste and sand; then it is washed in calabashes before being precooked with steam and dried in the sun; finally, part of the shell is removed from the grain using an electric husking machine.

The raw fonio is bought at 180 F CFA/kg from the farmers and is resold, after precooking, at 1000 F CFA/kg at national level (see products page)

This small processing unit, acquired thanks to the German Embassy, has allowed the Federation to employ 6 women and 1 driver for 3 months to transform 5 tonnes of fonio.