Building culinary skills with a wide range of activities across West and Central Africa
From being blogged about to being showcased at international events, the Smart Food initiative is gaining support from chefs to politicians in West and Central Africa (WCA), and in its wake, overturning dated notions about dryland cereals.
Blogging for dryland cereals
Dienaba Traore is the CEO of ‘Gabougouni’, a blog that promises to show new ways of using millets and sorghum. She joined the Smart Food campaign in October with four new recipes of millet and sorghum foods.
Dienaba says she had long been working in food safety for airlines before landing in Bamako as an influencer. On
13 October, she conducted the first Smart Food Masterclass in Mali, participants of which were the winners of a special Smart Food quiz organized online via Facebook and Instagram.
“On Gabougouni, I try to promote African dishes. My aim is to contribute towards modernizing African cuisine so that it is less complex and more attractive to the world. The Smart Food campaign is well aligned with the objectives of Gabougouni. I am happy to join the initiative.”
Showcasing value in Smart Food at international events
The Smart Food Mali campaign made a splash at the International Agricultural Exhibition of Bamako, locally known as SIAGRI. This important agricultural event organized earlier this year aims to promote food entrepreneurs in the agriculture industry.
Dr Nango Dembélé, Malian Minister for Agriculture, visited the Smart Food exhibit. He was briefed about the campaign’s objective of developing sustainable value chains for millets and sorghum.
The Smart Food hashtag at the exhibition was a big hit as visitors clicked photos with it and shared on social media. The exhibition was an opportunity to convey the adaptability of dryland cereals to climate variability in the semi-arid tropics.
Meanwhile in Accra, Ghana, Dr Ramadjita Tabo, Regional and Research Program Director, ICRISAT- WCA introduced the Smart Food initiative at the Food and Nutrition Security Conference held in October. He described the campaign’s vision to promote healthy food made from dryland crops like millets and sorghum, which are sustainable for the environment and good for producers.
Senior Sorghum Breeder in WCA, Dr Aboubacar Toure, attended a high-level panel discussion organized by the FAO in Mali on World Food Day. He presented the Smart Food initiative and outlined how it can contribute to fighting hunger, malnutrition and improve nutrition.