Cirad is a French agricultural research institute dedicated to sustainable development in tropical and sub-tropical countries, working regularly in more than 50 countries. Cirad has coordinated two major international projects on fonio since the year 2000.
The Aval Fonio project mainly involves two research departments:
- The Performance of Tropical Production and Processing Systems department and the QualiSud (Integrated Approach to Food Quality) Joint Research Unit.
- The Environment and Societies department and the Innovation (Innovation and Development in Agriculture and the Agrifoods Sector) Joint Research Unit.
Cirad, and the QualiSud unit in particular, are coordinating the Aval Fonio project (research activities, production of reports, developing guidelines, organising meetings and technical workshops etc.).
Cirad collaborates in the studies on the mechanisation of fonio harvesting and the adaptation and transfer of harvesters and cleaning machinery (Work Package (WP) 2). As the leading partner in WP3, it participates in the design and development of washing and de-sanding processes for fonio and on the adaptation and transfer of dryers for SME processors. As co-leader of WP4, Cirad and, in particular, the Innovation unit, participates in the construction of collective research and action groups and the analysis of innovation processes involving small businesses processing fonio.