- Fonio is nearly a miracle cereal
- No needs for fertilizer
- Little water
- Grows fast
- Super tasty
- High percentage of methionine
- Fiber rich
- Very nourishing
- Low fat
- Grows in poor soil
- Withstand drought
- Withstand floods
- Very very small grains
- One gram has 2000 seeds
- Very time-consuming to process the grains
Sanoussi Diakité’s fonio-husking machine, invented in the 1990s, is increasingly helping prevent a delicious, West African cereal from disappearing.
Fonio The Miracle Grain But….
Here are very important facts about the fonio grain:
Fonio is a very tasty cereal; anyone who tries it always asks for more,” Diakité says. “Studies have shown that it has great nutritional value.” Fonio has a low-fat content and a high percentage of methionine, an essential amino acid, making it a particularly appropriate foodstuff for children and pregnant women. The cereal is also rich in fiber and very nourishing. Steamed or boiled, one kilo of grain is enough to feed 10 people.
Digitaria exilis, as fonio is known in Latin, is a hardy cereal:
- that can withstand drought and floods
- grows in poor soil
- needs no fertilizer
- needs very little water
The seeds are scattered by hand and the plant grows like grass, so quickly that two or three crops can be harvested annually. “This abundance is due to the fact that fonio, unlike other cereals imported from the Americas, Mesopotamia or India, is native to the Sahel.
The Achilles Heel Of Fonio
Fonio is nearly a perfect grain but…
Unfortunately, fonio’s biggest drawback is what makes it so precious: its tiny size. One seed measures barely one millimeter across (one gram of fonio has over 2,000 seeds). And it is fragile. It can be crushed with the thumb, making it difficult to remove the brittle two layers of husk from the seeds. Traditionally, this was done by pounding fonio mixed with sand. The women then winnowed the mixture and started all over again. Four times. The result: 2.5 kilos of edible cereal for two hours of work.
The Sanoussi Diakit Invention
Thirteen years after he was chosen as a Laureate of the Rolex Foundation, Diakité reports that his invention is meeting with greater and greater success. Today 50 machines are in operation in eight countries.
Do you know an innovation, system, invention that could fix, heal, relief, improve and make happy Mother Earth?
Roger Pilon, Editor
The Planet Fixer Digest