Fonio (Digitaria exilis) has been grown in West Africa for centuries. For a long time, it was of marginal importance as a cereal due to its small seeds, but is now the object of renewed interest as consumers begin to recognize its flavour and nutritional qualities. Research is under way with a view to mechanizing several processing stages, so as to increase fonio sales in urban areas, where it is particularly popular.
This site was set up by the CIRAD Annual Crops Department (CIRAD-CA), in conjunction with IER
(Institut d’économie rurale du Mali), l’IRAG
(Institut de recherche agronomique de Guinée) and l’IRSAT
(Institut de recherches en sciences appliquées et technologies
du Burkina Faso).
The research on improving fonio postharvest technologies is being conducted within the framework of a project funded by the CFC
(Common Fund for Commodities), an intergovernmental financial body, and supervised by the FAO.