Selling millet porridge at a kiosk during the 2017 International Agriculture and Animal Resources Fair in Senegal earlier this year, millet processors marketed and introduced a new brand, Sunu Fondé, that raked in over 1 million CFA francs.
The launch involved cooperation from farmers, processors and craftsmen who developed a food kiosk specific to selling and making the porridge. Support from the USDA-funded Millet Business Services Project (MBSP), which NCBA CLUSA implements in Senegal, helped to connect all the groups.
Millet is a staple food in Senegal, but value-added products like enriched flour and porridges have not taken off in the market. Inadequate processing and sales conditions contributed to low quality products. The MBSP Project brought together porridge sellers and trained them on hygienic processing. This professionalization led them to brand their product and build a high-quality reputation.
To maintain that reputation, the millet kiosks are only available to members of the millet processing cooperative and approved millet products are the only products available from these kiosks.
Millet porridge is usually eaten for breakfast and dinner in rural areas, and is also used in family ceremonies. Increasing the productivity of growing millet, on one side, as well as increasing consumption on the other supports a sustainable and solvent millet market. Introducing these nutritious options—in particular the porridge—to urban households supports incomes in the rural areas and increases food security across the country.
The Porridge Kiosk, launched at the Agriculture Fair, was the first promotional launch of its size and scale for millet farmers.
One millet saleswoman, Sadio Mané, a grandmother from Kaolack Region, said the fair allowed her to expand her clients and introduce millet to more people.
“I expanded my clientele because I was able to sell to people of a certain standard of living. With the experience of the fair, I can now associate the porridge with milk and thus increase my income,” Mané said. She personally sold over 400,000 CFA francs (over $700 USD) of porridge.
The millet farmers themselves were able to promote their threshing techniques, resulting in clean millet. Sadakh Senghor, president of the conservation farming producers network, noted that the group sold their millet for 25 percent higher than that market price because of its quality.
And the connections with other industries were apparent. Mamelles Jaboot, a local milk and yogurt company, was interested in buying the Sunu Fondé brand of millet to go with their products.
Launching the millet porridge brand Sunu Fondé at the Agriculture Fair in Senegal opened doors for partners all along the value chain—from farmers and processors to salespeople, craftsmen, consumers and potential large partnerships. As the Millet Business Services Project continues to improve the quality, production and branding for this product, incomes are rising across the region.
Learn more about the USDA Millet Business Services Project and why millet is key to food security in Senegal.