Could an African grain become a global super-food? A case study: fonio

Wednesday 27 October 2021

How can we promote the shift from common crops like wheat and rice to crops that have been forgotten by the people who previously consumed them? What roles can scientists and consumers play, and what are the challenges that need to be addressed to guarantee that these crops are reintroduced to everyone’s benefit?


Please join our experts at the first Dialogue of the Forgotten Crops Society as they discuss these questions in relation to fonio, an African heritage grain that is considered the continent’s oldest cultivated cereal.

Pierre Thiam is a Senegal-raised, New York City-based chef, author, restaurateur, social entrepreneur & culinary ambassador. He is best known for bringing West African cuisine to the global fine dining world. He is the Executive Chef of the award-winning restaurant Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria and the Signature Chef of the five-star Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal. He is also the executive chef and co-owner of Teranga, a fast-casual food chain from New York City. His company Yolélé advocates for smallholder farmers in the Sahel by opening new markets for crops grown in Africa; its signature product, Yolélé Fonio, is found in Whole Foods, Amazon, and other retailers across America.

Professor Bruno Gerard is an agronomist and the head of agro-bioscience at Mohammed VI Polytechnic in Morocco, after several years of leading the Sustainable Intensification Programme at CIMMYT (CGIAR).

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