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OTI HOLDS ANTICIPATED FONIO WEBINAR


First Edition of OTI Fonio Webinar Flyer
First Edition of OTI Fonio Webinar Flyer

The long-awaited Fonio Webinar by International e-commerce and agribusiness company Organic Trade and Investments (OTI) has been held.


The 4-hour event was held on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, with participants joining from around the world.


Dubbed "Rediscovering a superfood from Africa", the event was aimed at sensitizing the public on the history, health benefits, recipes and uses of Fonio grain and flour in daily diets.


The educative event was attended by a couple dozen people.



The host of the webinar was Angela Akua Asante (Triple-A), award-winning sports journalist and bilingual (French/English) emcee, voice-over artist, media communications/PR specialist, and multimedia producer.


The webinar started off with culinary expert and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Back To Eden Foods, Cate Abraham sharing the various foods fonio grains and flour can be incorporated in.


According to her, organic gluten-free fonio flour can be used as a thickener in soups and stews. The grains can also be used in salads.


In her presentation, Virtual Assistant at OTI, Christabel Kukua Baidoo told a story about the history of the miracle grain and how it is gaining ground in recent times.


She noted that as more people became conscious of their health and food choices, fonio has gained more popularity.


"There is a need to preach the fonio gospel to encourage the new generation of West African farmers to start growing the 'miracle grain' on a larger scale to make it accessible and affordable," she said.



The audience was shown a series of recipe videos that directed them on how to make sumptuous meals with organic gluten-free fonio from OTI.


International Medical practitioner, Dr. Gaelle Yossa in presenting the health benefits of Fonio noted that its vitamin content plays various roles in preventing cardiovascular diseases and other illnesses.


She said: "It is good for people who are lactose intolerant. Fonio reduces the risk of obesity and helps deal with hypertension. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant."



Speaking on the need for pregnant women to eat Fonio, Nutritionist, Akosua Konadu Yiadom noted that the grain was rich in the needed iron.


Akosua explained that the protein content of both types (Black and White) produces calories for pregnant women and nursing mothers.


"Rice is popular than fonio but it is good that there are platforms like this that put fonio out there," she said.


"It is blessed with folic. If you are eating fonio, you are enjoying the natural folic in there. There is a reason we recommend folic to pregnant women," she added.



The certified nutritionist mentioned that fonio has a low glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.


This reduces the chances of developing diabetes.


In her closing remarks, Managing Director, Esther Ama Asante was full of praise for the speaker, participants and team members who made the event possible.


"As the world is changing, we also need to change our mindset and be the leaders for others to follow," she said.

"Food is culture and we all have to be proud of our culture," she added.

Background


This is the first-ever Fonio-centered educational event to be organised by anyone in the agribusiness industry in Ghana proving the company’s dedication to increasing the consumption of African-sourced products.


What is Fonio?


Fonio: /ˈfəʊnjəʊ/, is a cereal grown in some Western African countries.


It is an indigenous crop with two cultivated species: white fonio (Digitaria exilis), whose roots can be traced to Senegal to Chad and black fonio (Digitaria iborua) which is grown mainly grown in Nigeria as well as the northern regions of Togo and Benin.



Although this crop which is one of the oldest African cereals is described as a ‘miracle grain’, it has lost its fame due to various reasons- colonialism and westernization, being on top of the list.



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