Fonio crop or millet is an orphan African cereal particularly native to Western Africa or West Africa which has gained commercial significance in food security. Two popular species of the crop comprise white fonio (Digitaria exilis (Kippist)) and black fonio (Digitaria iburua) cultivated in Senega, Chad, Guinea, and Nigeria. Rising interest of food industry worldwide in the fonio flour market has evolved on the back of the attractive nutritional and functional properties of fonio grains: they are gluten free, are in the whole grain form, and goes well with baking.
The diverse food uses make fonio crop as complementary to major cereals of the world. Being a rich source of amino acids methionine and cysteine, fonio flour is gathering steam among nutritionists and food science researchers in a few developed geographies of the world. Focus of agriculturists to utilize fonio for various food applications by improving the agronomic quality of flour broadens the horizon of opportunities in fonio flour market.
The study on the fonio flour market evaluated the macroeconomic and regulatory factors that shape the research and developments avenues in various countries. The research analysts strive to offer insight into major research funding in breeding programs and the opportunities that will arise out of these in the next ten years of the forecast period.
The drive for fonio flour market stems substantially from the growing interest of policy makers in various countries on utilizing crops that boost food security, both regionally as well as globally. Another compelling value proposition for target industries is the use of this gluten-free grain for meeting the needs of population with celiac diseases. Exports from Western Africa are thus growing rapidly, propelling the growth avenue in the fonio flour market.
A range of baking recipes are possible with fonio flour, spurring interest of the bakery industry to rely on sustainable cultivation of the crop outside the marginal lands. A growing body of research for understanding the crop diversity for agriculture in a changing climate is boosting the market. The research has particularly intensified in the last two decades. Efforts to attain sustainable food production shape a key trend creating new avenues for industry entities in the fonio flour market. Utilization of plant genetic resources is boosting the stride in the fonio flour market. Popularity of gluten-free food by utilizing ancient grains of the world has also supported such efforts.
Food industry is keen on projecting fonio as one of the best-tasting cereals with high nutritional benefits. Interest in underutilized orphan food is also one driving interest in this direction in the fonio flour market.
A number of breeding programs have been done over the years to improve the yield. Fertilizers have formed a key ingredient in such programs in the fonio flour market. A recent study published in Nature Communications has highlighted a novel molecular breeding technique based on high-quality genomic resources to improve yield. Growing understanding of genetic diversity, population structure, and domestication patterns of the crop will expand the canvas for researchers and the food industry, thereby boosting the market.
On the regional front, European countries and North America are presenting substantive capitalization avenues for players in the fonio flour market. These regions have seen rise in investments in sustainable food practices, thereby boosting the prospect of fonio flour. Some of the regions where fonio flour market has made some remarkable strides are the European Union and the U.S. Commercial interest in other regions will also pick pace on the back of efforts to improve the genetic diversity of the crop.
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