Fonio is a tiny, nutritious, climate-smart ancient grain that has been prized across West Africa for over 5,000 years. It’s light, fluffy, and just a bit nutty, and it cooks in just five minutes.
Fonio is high in protein, fiber, and iron; gluten-free, and with a low glycemic index. The grain also has a particularly strong amino acid profile, and high levels of methionine and cysteine, which support tissue growth and are deficient in most grains. Fonio is also valued for its easy digestibility and suitability for people suffering from diabetes.
Fonio is great for pilafs, grain bowls, hot cereal, veggie burgers, tabbouleh, bread crumbs, and even in gluten-free baking. In West Africa, fonio is often enjoyed as a grain side to absorb sauces recipes like chicken yassa, or enjoyed in porridges, like the famous dish ngalakh.
Oh, and one more thing: Fonio has the potential to transform the economic landscape of rural West Africa. That’s what drives Yolélé.
We think that the combination of a fair trade export market for this traditional ingredient with a beneficial, commercial-scale supply chain will provide life-changing results for the people who live in this region; creating increased income opportunities for smallholder farmers and promoting biodiverse, regenerative, and resilient food systems.