AN ANALYSIS OF THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF WEST AFRICAN ANCIENT GRAIN FONIO: IMPACTS ON WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND FOOD SECURITY
The global commercialization of ancient grains is becoming increasingly popular due to consumers’ preferences for healthy, organic, and gluten-free food products. As the global population rapidly rises and climate extremes impact agricultural production, there is a growing need for climate-resistant crops. Many popular ancient grains, such as quinoa, teff, and fonio, are resistant to abiotic and biotic stresses and are high in nutritional value. These ancient grains are considered allies to food security, important for future agricultural production, and can foster economic empowerment for local smallholder farmers. The local and global commercialization of fonio (Digitaria exilis) is at its early stages. This paper aims to evaluate the commercialization of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) and teff (Eragrostis tef) while drawing from the lessons learned to offer a more sustainable approach to the production of fonio. The paper will further explore whether the commercialization of fonio can foster women’s economic empowerment. The analysis and findings suggest areas of policy intervention and concludes that through an enabling environment, the commercialization of fonio can stimulate growth and food security.
Master of Professional Studies
Attribution 4.0 International
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