In March 2018, stakeholders identified along the fonio and Bambara groundnut value chains were invited to crop-specific meetings to share back results of the value chain studies and discuss ways forward to overcome challenges for production, marketing and consumption of these crops.
- Fact sheets on the value chain studies and presentations from the stakeholder workshops can be downloaded below.
- Learn more about the activities of this project in Mali and take a look at photos from the field.
- Visit http://nuscommunity.org/ in the coming weeks to download the proceedings which are under preparation.
Weak value chain development is partly a result of the narrow focus of agricultural research and development, which has neglected many local crops important in traditional food systems. Overcoming weaknesses in marketing these crops requires attention to enhance their processing, trading, marketing and retailing, which can in turn help leverage their benefits for strengthening food security, alleviating poverty, and increasing the resilience and sustainability of farming systems in face of climate change.
|Dr Yara Koreissi, Food and Nutrition Technologist at IER
(wearing a yellow headdress) describes dishes developed
with Bambara groundnut, Koutiala, Mali.
Credit: Bioversity International/G.Lochetti
|Fonio (above) and Bambara groundnut harvested in Mali.
Credit: Bioversity International/G.Meldrum
Each crop presents peculiar challenges and opportunities: a message that clearly emerged during the meetings. In the case of fonio, harvesting and especially processing are time-consuming and problematic. Cleaning and sand removal are complicated by the small dimensions of fonio grains, which need to undergo long processing. The cleaned and polished fonio – while more attractive to consumers – is however poorer in micronutrients and dietary fibre due to the removal of the outer part of the cereal. Small producers also face difficulties in linking to a disorganized market. The price farmers receive is too low to motivate them to produce and sell fonio, while the final price is too high for most consumers to access processed fonio.