International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Proceedings of the stakeholder workshop Fonio in Mali: Challenges and opportunities for value chain development

Fonio (Digitaria exilis) is a native, underutilized crop, well adapted to the arid conditions of the Sahel. lt has a very short growth cycle and can produce on poor soils. At the same time, it produces a seed of high nutritional quality with a taste that is well appreciated by consumers. For these reasons, fonio can help secure food production in the face of climate change. This traditional crop has received little attention in relation to research and development efforts, mainly focused on rice and on a narrow basket of other cereals mainly introduced from outside Africa.

Given the strategic importance of fonio, Bioversity International and the lnstitute of Rural Economy (IER) have been working since 2015 on the IFAD-EU project "Linking agrobiodiversity value chains, climate adaptation and nutrition: Empowering the poor to manage risks", aimed at promoting the use of this species in the regions of Sikasso and Ségou. As part of this project, a study of the fonio value chain was conducted to understand the key constraints for commercialization. Interviews with producers, traders and consumers were conducted to understand their different perspectives. A number of important results have been achieved through this study and other project activities.

On March 21, 2018, a workshop was held in Bamako to share the salient results of the value chain assessment in San and Tominian area (Mali).

Sustaining local crop diversity
Subject area(s)
Promoting local crop diversity
Subject category(ies)
Developing the value chain
Bioversity International, Institut d'Économie Rurale
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Publication or report
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Open access

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