Fonio: Africa’s Supergrain By Nourishing Africa

Fonio, a grain, is thought to become the next ‘quinoa’ of the world and could possibly transform the economy of countries in the Sahel. With the ability to grow in very poor, dry conditions such as Kédougou, a region that Pierre Thiam in his TED Talk describes as “one of the poorest regions in Senegal”, Fonio has the ability to change the current perception of ‘inarable’ land West Africa.

Historically, Fonio has been cultivated in savannas for thousands of years and was once the largest source of nutrition to West Africans as it is easily harvested in dry areas and does not require as much water as other crops. Fonio is grown throughout the region in countries such as South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal while Black Fonio, one of the oldest harvested grains, is found in Nigeria, Benin and Togo.