Upgrading quality and competitiveness of fonio for improved livelihoods in Africa
The overall objective of FONIO project is to improve quality and diversity of the fonio products to widen local offer as well as export and increase the incomes of the producers and the processors. To enhance fonio availability , it is also necessary to develop the productivity of the commodity chain at different levels (adapted varieties, appropriated production and farming systems, innovation in post-harvest mechanisation,…).
As scientific and technical data concerning this under-utilized tropical cereal are scarce and very often incomplete, we first acquire an in-depth knowledge about fonio. Namely, we focus on fonio biochemical composition and its technological, cooking and nutritional qualities. We identify the ecotypes with the best agronomic, technological and commercial potential. By developing adapted processes, we work to improve quality of the local product and to make new products. This should be done so as to enhance regional trade and to stimulate exports of both good quality white fonio and high added value new products.
Concurrently, we study the conditions for improving the competitiveness of the local commodity chain so that fonio can become a source of production diversification and higher incomes for local farmers and processors. We also evaluate the effects of developing an export market chain on the evolution of the local commodity chain.
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