Fonio is a neglected cereal with tiny nutritious grains that provides farmer, particularly women, with both self-provisioning and income generation opportunities. Only few fonio varieties are presently cultivated in Mali. Furthermore, farmers lack access to information about new seed varieties, agronomical advice, and cost-efficient processing options. This project aims to promote fonio cultivation, enhance fonio productivity, and to strengthen local fonio value chain development in Mali.Neglected crops are important, complementary components of production systems. They play significant roles in human nutrition, food security, and local income generation opportunities, especially for women. Building on previous CCRP-funded efforts, this project further strengthens fonio cultivation and value chain development in Mali. This contributes to better food security of rural communities, enhanced diet diversification, and reduction of malnutrition via fonio’s superior content of essential amino acids. The women groups associated with the project are expected to enhance their income from fonio cultivation. The project elucidates the functions of fonio in the production system, also in the context of agro-ecological intensification. This could contribute to better fonio integration in the production systems and more sustainable agriculture in Mali.
This phase of the fonio project aims to:Enhance fonio productivity and profitability by matching fertilization and seeding rate options to the agro-ecological zone, soil type and weed infestation level of the field.Determine and document the effects of fonio residues on soil fertility and productivity of the subsequent crop.Identification of specifically adapted ecotypes that serve farmers specific needs such as food security, production diversification and commercialization.Strengthen local fonio seed production in the project target areas.Better understand the genetic diversity of fonio ecotypes.Better understanding of the fonio production areas in Mali.Strengthen the Fonio value chain in the project target area.