AMAATI is a Ghanaian social enterprise that pioneered the revival of fonio in Northern Ghana, and is one of the SMEs that is supported under the Grains for Growth program. It is an enterprise that works with farmers, particularly women, in producing and processing Fonio, and wants to expand into millet as well. It was formed with an idea of creating sustainable livelihood for female farmers whose lands are degraded due to their excessive usage.
The report contains many interesting findings, of which the main ones are listed below:
- AMAATI’s service delivery model is profitable, and expected to increase EBT of $417k with 317% by 2025 if AMAATI is able to reach their growth targets. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 43%, which is driven by growth in fonio volumes (on average 85% of gross profit) and the inclusion of millet (on average 15% of gross profit).
- SDM fonio farmers are expected to have 50% higher yields than baseline farmers due to better seeds and planting techniques. These yields can be improved even further to +150%. On a per acre basis the income is almost 3 times as high in the first year and expected to grow further.
- The inputs that are required for millet cultivation are equal each year at 43 USD/acre. Since these costs remain stable and SDM millet farmers are expected to be able to double their yield, their profits will significantly increase.
- AMAATI’s business model has a strong focus on female farmers, with at least 80% of their farmer base being women. They provide them with input credit, whereas otherwise they would not have access to financial services. Additionally, the SDM supports these women in gaining access to land and earning an income. This increases their control over financial resources and thereby their (financial) independence, contributing to the empowerment of these women.
- Fonio is a unique crop for multiple reasons:
- There is a clear business case for fonio, even on a very small scale.
- Fonio needs very little inputs, therefore it can grow on arid lands while no high upfront investments are required.
- Fonio can be stored for a long time before it perishes, and it is very nutritious. This leads to high levels of home consumption, thereby contributing to the food security of farmers and their families.