Project to train 100 women in fonio farming launched in Ghana

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100 women to undergo training in fonio farming for economic growth

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and acclaimed chef Fatmata Binta has launched a new project aimed at supporting 100 women fonio producers in Ghana.

100 women to undergo training in fonio farming for economic growthThe project is designed to provide specialised training to women involved in fonio cultivation by enhancing their skills and boosting their productivity and income.

The training would include hands-on sessions on fonio production, harvesting, packaging and accessing markets.

Fonio is an ancient, nutrient-packed grain known for its resilience and ability to thrive in less fertile soils, and has traditionally been cultivated by women in Ghana.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said fonio had been undervalued despite its nutritional and environmental benefits, adding the project aimed to change the narrative by focusing on sustainable practices, empowerment, and economic development.

The statement quoted Mr Arslen Bounemra, FAO Representative in Ghana, as saying: “This project is a pilot that we hope can be scaled up and replicated in other fonio-producing countries. Fonio is a powerhouse ingredient that should be more well-known and consumed more widely.”

Chef Fatmata Binta is an influential figure in the culinary world having won the 2022 Basque Culinary World Prize.

Born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to first-generation Sierra Leonean Fulanis of Guinean descent, Chef Binta is now based in Ghana and travels the world advocating for fonio and putting African cuisine on the global dining table.

Chef Binta said: “through this project, we are not only preserving a piece of African culinary history but also empowering women to take control of their futures. This is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together for a common good.”

The statement said the project activities would commence in April 2024, coinciding with land preparations for the next growing season.

By Stanley Senya, GNA

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