One of Africa’s smallest ancient grains, Fonio belongs to the millet species and resembles a cross between couscous and quinoa. Fonio has recently grown in popularity amongst foodies and has acquired much media attention owing to its versatility and nutritious properties.
Fonio is predominantly eaten with stews and sauces as an alternative to rice and pasta or as porridge. It can also be used to complement yoghurts, salads and desserts. Being both gluten and cholesterol-free with low sodium and sugar content it is ideal for weight management and highly recommended for diabetics. Fonio is also rich in amino acids particularly methionine and cysteine which are known to have antioxidant properties, aid digestion, boost the metabolism in addition to promoting the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails. These properties also make for a highly resilient grain that is drought resistant – ideal for cultivation in areas struggling to cope with climate change.
This super grain is largely underutilised in West Africa owing to high cost making it unaffordable for many locals. Thus it is our intention to achieve the following important milestones:
- We intend for the Gambia to become self sufficient in Fonio production and utilize the intended health benefits by improving production and causing a reduction in local prices.
- Introduce this beneficial superfood to the global market, thereby improving foreign exchange and earnings for the producing farmers. We are already working with local governments task agency that handles exportation promotion (GIEPA) to help support our goals.