Fonio is extremely prized, but people are more and more reluctant to prepare it. I decided that a machine needed to be invented.
The 50 kg machine invented in the 1990s by Diakité, an engineer and teacher, has transformed attitudes to fonio. The device costs between US$1,320 and $2,200, depending on the type, which makes it too expensive for individual households.
But governments across West Africa have begun buying it to make it accessible to as many people as possible.<br><br>More than 180 of his husk-removal machines have been distributed in eight countries. Fonio is no longer
ignored by the Senegalese media, and there has been a renewal of interest in this grain, with many farmers doubling the average terrain they allocate for growing it. The Rolex Award has won Diakité’s machine national and international
renown.<br><br>Fonio Day, suggested by Diakité, is now celebrated annually. He has been appointed Director General of Senegal’s National Office for Professional Training.