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Winrock International

Volunteer Post

Empowering Women through Innovation: The Haldi Potti Journey in Agriculture and Economic Growth [SEN331]

Assignment SEN331

Eric M. Washington

Winrock International has completed yet another robust and empowering project in conjunction with the women’s collective of Haldi Potti! This initiative was actualized through the synergistic collaboration of Winrock International’s Farmer-to-Farmer Program and the assiduous volunteer efforts of Mr. Stephen Wood. Haldi Potti represents an industrious women’s assembly encompassing 155 members who constitute the nucleus of the Economic Interest Group (GIE). This formation was facilitated under the auspices of a Peace Corps volunteer. Engaged in the rigorous pursuit of agricultural activities, these women are instrumental in cultivating and processing various crops, including fonio, corn, and peanuts. With the establishment of the GIE, they have earned the eminent status of on-site buyers—a transformational development enabling each woman, along with other contributors engage in activities such as fonio cultivation, mango orchard tending, and harvesting of wild fruits like shea nuts and baobab in Ségou, to directly negotiate and transact their produce with the collective.

Under the scholarly guidance of the volunteer, Mr. Stephen Wood, the host community embarked on an intellectual expedition into international standards, conducting meticulous analyses of diverse fonio products. Embracing a cosmopolitan outlook, the community initiated dialogues with industry visionaries, such as Pierre Thiam of Yolélé, to dissect advanced processing techniques and to pinpoint nascent market vistas. Utilizing their existing well-endowed infrastructure, the host community exhibited an ardent zeal in probing further mechanization possibilities. Motivated by the aspiration to augment product quality while concurrently aligning with the avant-garde advancements in the agricultural arena, they conceptualized a gamut of innovative fonio-based commodities, from scrumptious pilafs to savory chips. This inventive expansion enriched their product assortment and ignited novel concepts to amplify their market presence through actively cultivating relationships with prospective buyers. These alliances stand on the brink of considerably augmenting their revenue flows.

As articulated by Salimatou Diallo, “This training has shed light on the potential of fashioning various sub-products from fonio. Of particular distinction are fonio-based chips, a nutritive alternative for our progeny, and an exhilarating prospective market.” From May 10, 2023, to May 21, 2023, the intellectual and practical odyssey undertaken with Haldi Potti has been delineated by profound revelations, avant-garde ideation, and exceptional growth. The latent potential unleashed through this instructional engagement is situated to burgeon into something of extraordinary significance.