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close this bookBetter Farming Series 15 - Cereals (FAO - INADES, 1977, 51 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
close this folderWhat are food crops?
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View the documentWhat cereals are grown in Africa?
View the documentWhy cereals are grown
View the documentWhy we should produce and sell more cereals
View the documentTraditional cereal growing
close this folderGrowing cereals in the modern way
View the documentClearing land and grubbing out trees
View the documentConserving and improving the soil
View the documentApplying manure and fertilizers
View the documentPreparing the soil
View the documentSelecting and preparing seeds
View the documentSowing in rows
View the documentHow to look after cereals
View the documentHarvesting
View the documentSelling part of the harvest
close this folderSorghum and millet
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSorghum
close this folderMillet
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close this folderHow to grow sorghum and millet
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View the documentGrowing sorghum in the dry season
View the documentSorghum for animal feeding
close this folderMaize
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentTraditional maize growing
View the documentHow to increase maize yields
close this folderOther cereals
View the documentFonio
View the documentFinger millet
View the documentWheat
View the documentSuggested question paper


Fonio is a short cereal, about 45 centimetres high. It yields very small grains.

Fonio is chiefly grown in savanna regions of west Africa, such as Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Upper Volta, Niger.

Fonio grows and ripens quickly. It can be harvested long before millet or sorghum. Thus, the inhabitants of savanna regions who have no millet or sorghum during the hungry season can eat fonio.

Fonio grows well even on poor soil. It is much grown in certain mountainous regions such as Fouta Djallon in Guinea, and on soils with a little laterite in Upper Volta and Mali. It is a plant that needs very little water to grow well. It is grown on very dry and poor soils.

Fonio should be sown at the end of a rotation, just before the fallow.

Fonio fields must be protected from birds that eat the grain.

Harvesting fonio is difficult, because the grain is very small. Much grain can be lost in harvesting. Do not wait until the grain is too ripe.