When you’re starting a business, you’re always charged up. New developments! Changing conditions! You’re constantly encountering (and hopefully solving) problems.
But this week has us exceptionally excited. We recently got together with our friends at the admirable rice company Lotus Foods, which is a champion of SRI, or System of Rice Intensification. SRI is an agricultural methodology that has proven to dramatically improve outcomes for smallholder rice farmers.
The principals of SRI, which were established only in the 1990’s, have since been applied to other crops, like teff and wheat, under the umbrella term SCI – System of Crop Intensification. The founders of Lotus Foods, inspirational as always, suggested we look into how SCI might work with fonio. We started research immediately, and learned enough to convince us that using SCI techniques will change the equation for smallholder fonio growers in the Sahel.
We have just begun the process of exploring the adaptation of those techniques to fonio. We’ve connected some of the leading experts in SCI’s introduction to West Africa with our agronomist partners at SOS Sahel, the NGO that’s helping us establish the world’s first beneficial, commercial scale and grade fonio supply chain.
We’ll explain more in future posts about SCI principals, and how they can address some of the biggest issues we face in making the most of fonio’s potential. Stay tuned!