MINNEAPOLIS — Terra Ingredients, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based AgMotion, Inc., is making the grain fonio available to food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. The company has established relationships with farmers in the Sahel region of Africa to grow fonio and built a facility in Dakar, Senegal. Terra Ingredients uses a chemical-free, 5-log microbial reduction on the fonio.
“Presently, there are no real export channels for fonio in West Africa,” said Malick Diedhiou, a Terra Ingredients merchandiser with roots in Senegal. “By creating one, Terra is providing farmers the option to grow grains for export and improve conditions in the community.”
Fonio, an ancient grain and a species of millet, has been cultivated in Africa for more than 5,000 years, according to the Whole Grains Council, Boston. It is resistant to drought and grows quickly, producing grain within six to eight weeks of being planted.