Since 1995, the Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Grains has endorsed 12 projects worth over US$ 20 million, located in Africa, Asia and Latin America & Caribbean. The commodities covered include sorghum, millet, maize, fonio, cassava and potatoes.
Development strategy for traditional grains
In view of the problems facing the traditional grains, a development strategy for them would have to address, as a first priority, the need for expanding supplies by raising productivity. This could be achieved by generating appropriate varieties and adopting appropriate technologies that would lead to higher yields on generally inferior crop land, and thus make private investment in production more attractive. An ensuing expansion in output would not only improve domestic food security but also enable shipments to neighbouring countries or countries in the region, particularly in periods characterized by variable supply situations.
As a second priority, the strategy would have to focus on developing better processing technologies that would not only cut losses but also improve processing efficiency and product quality, such as that of the resulting flour, in order to check the pace of substitution by imported grains and grain products. These efforts at the production and processing stages would have to be supplemented by improvements in product marketing, and by facilitating intra-and inter-regional trade in these grains.
More comprehensive information on this issue is available in the 1995 document of FAO Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Grains, titled Development Strategy for Traditional Grains.