On the farming side, we are working with SOS Sahel, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has been operating in Africa since 1977. They have around 500 people working on the ground, mainly focused on helping smallholder farmers increase their income by creating and fostering resilient agricultural systems.
SOS Sahel has embraced fonio as a driver of positive change in their territory, and they have undertaken to support Yolélé’s effort to build a beneficial supply chain as a key element in achieving our market and mission goals. Their field teams will recruit, train, and equip a network of smallholders who will supply Yolélé with fonio and other native crops. The goals are higher income, healthier soil, greater opportunity, and stronger communities – A Better Life, as SOS Sahel’s leadership has phrased it.
Yolélé supports SOS Sahel in turn, not just by creating a market that makes larger scale fonio harvests reasonable to shoot for, but also by committing to donate 1% of our sales (not our profits) to SOS Sahel’s community funds–and similar funds with other collaborating NGO’s–which will provide quality of life services like electricity, water, and public gathering places in the villages that grow our fonio.