Fonio's new frontiers

24Oct
Business Updates

Fonio's new frontiers

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Since winning the award, Salma Abdulai’s business has started to ship internationally, a first for this producer of fonio, an indigenous cereal that used to be little known outside the Ghana region. Orders have arrived from Italy, Canada, the US, South Africa and, most recently Germany. It’s a sea change for Salma, who attributes this growth to the media exposure she received as a laureate: “We’ve had a 20% sales increase, which will rise even higher in 2018. Our challenge now will be to meet the demand!”

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To consolidate this growth, Salma has purchased three acres of land and is building a factory, fully funded by the money she was awarded. To invest in further infrastructure for quality control and launch of an exciting new product, Salma is looking to raise US$1 million.

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The network she is forging may be able to help. “It’s been awesome: I was introduced to an impact investor during my INSEAD programme and made amazing new connections.” She even met the French President, Emmanuel Macron. “His team reached out to me for his visit to Ghana. He was impressed with our fight to get land for women farmers and told me that France would help.”