Fadiouth Island Salted Millet Couscous Presidium, Senegal
Salted millet couscous from Fadiouth Island
is the result of bringing together traditional cereals, cultivated since time immemorial in
the inland areas, and the sea. Situated just off
the mainland, Fadiouth village sits on an island covered in seashells and is accessible from Joal (150 kilometers south of Dakar) via a long narrow wooden pedestrian bridge. The Seerer, the indigenous people who live here, have always been the main producers of Sunnà millet and make their living from agriculture and fishing in the sea and lagoons.
The preparation of salted couscous is long and laborious, requiring at least two days to obtain a good quality product. The women come together towards the evening to prepare the millet to make the flour. The grains are husked in wooden mortars, sifted and washed in the sea. They are then ground and the resulting semolina is wet
with seawater and worked by hand to transform
it into tiny couscous pellets, which are then sifted. The couscous is then stored in traditional gourds, covered with a cloth and left to ferment overnight. In the morning the women add powdered baobab leaves - used as a thickener - and start cooking the couscous.
The Presidium's objective is to promote a revival of the cultivation and consumption of the local Sunnà millet, which has been dropping rapidly in recent years, and increase awareness among local residents of why it is important to keep marine waters and beaches clean and unpolluted. The Presidium has identified a core group of 20 women producers who have been brought together in a local economic group (GIE). The Joal - Fadiouth local authority identified and renovated a building on the island where the women can work together. In 2011, the producers took part
in two training workshops run by an expert on cereals and couscous production to draw up the Presidium protocol and improve the packaging and labeling of the couscous. The improvement of the conditions in which the couscous was produced and stored and the renovation of the building have enabled the Presidium producers to obtain the Ministry of Trade's authorization to sell the product on the national market.
- organize training for the producers on community work and good hygiene practices
- buy bags for the couscous and a vacuum - packing machine
- produce communication material to promote the product and its local area
- organize two local events to promote
the product (one in a Dakar supermarket
and the other for restaurants and hotels in Joal)
Fadiouth Island, Joal-Fadiouth municipality, Fatick region
20 women, united in the Mbel Saa GIE (economic interest group), directly involved in couscous production
100 women involved in training activities 15 Sunnà millet growers
Families of the couscous producers
and millet growers (around 200 people)
Total estimated costs