Miriama Abdou Jayéri, business manager of the Laitière du Sahel in Niger 16/06/2022

The Foura business strategy consists of making foura soga known by the Nigerien population, and ensuring that it is available in all sales outlets, supermarkets and grocery stores to satisfy our customers. Based on this same strategy, we held an official launch including extensive communication so that customers know we are manufacturing a new product called foura in the local language, and we have put it on the market.

We organised events outside hospitals, at markets, in public squares and at a major annual agricultural fair. We rolled out promotion so that foura would be really well known by the Nigerien population.

Source: testimony recorded during the filming of the foura soga infomercial

Mrs. Maïmouna Malé, Managing Director of the Laitière du Sahel (LDS) in Niger

The Meriem project contributed greatly to LDS, in particular by providing technical support for production. The objective was to improve the quality of production, and fully ensure product safety and quality. We also received support to modernise our distribution circuit.

“Foura soga is a new product, a new fortified product, i.e. containing multi-vitamin complexes. It is a healthy, quality product. It is different in that, currently, it is unique on the market, its packaging is attractive and it is not at all expensive.”

“Moving forward, we aim to distribute Foura soga throughout Niger. At the moment we only sell foura in Niamey; but soon we will try to roll it out within all of Niger, and maybe even in the sub-region. Our ambition is to establish how we can make foura soga an instant food, which would really enable wide-scale marketing in the sub-region”.

Source: testimony recorded during the preparation of the foura soga infomercial

 Michel Trapsida, Technical director of the Laitière du Sahel in Niger

“Foura soga is made using mainly local raw materials, essentially millet – as millet grains are also used in our thiakry, and 70% cow’s milk that we purchase through the Kolo collection centre. We place a lot of focus on local ingredients. In addition, as we are engaged in the fight against malnutrition, we have enriched this foura soga with vitamins and minerals. We tried to maintain the traditional system, using foura, an entirely traditional product which we tried to improve through an industrial process.

The process begins with husking, which consists of separating the grains from the bran; then these are washed; the grains are then milled to obtain a flour; balls are formed with the milled substance, in the traditional manner, and are placed in a pasteuriser to be cooked. An industrial process is applied, using large mixers for blending and homogenisation. In addition to this, at the end of the process, the product is packaged in biodegradable 250 ml packets, and 33 cl bottles.”

Source: testimony recorded during the preparation of the foura soga infomercial

Mme Hélène Ouédraogo, expert at the Directorate of Nutrition in Burkina-Faso

“From the age of 6 months, children can consume food other than breast milk. Fruit and vegetables can be introduced, as well as other foods such as cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, etc., not forgetting fortified porridges. The proportion of sugar should also be reduced, because too much sugar is not good for children.”

“Good food does not necessarily have to come from elsewhere and we must recognise that we can feed our children well by using our local products, such as fruit and non-timber forest products for example. Our local products are more useful than imported products. We can use our local products to manufacture fortified infant flours for our children. Our children are a priority, they need more nutritious elements for good growth and brain development, and protection from malnutrition.”

“To prevent child malnutrition, it is above all necessary to respect recommended infant and young child feeding practices: exclusive breastfeeding from de 0 to 6 months, introduction of complementary foods from 6 months, continued breastfeeding up to 2 years and over. Because feeding is really decisive for our children’s nutritional status and, consequently, for their health. It can reduce child mortality and morbidity.”

Source: interactive radio show on the Oméga channel on 24 May 2022, Burkina Faso

Listen to the full radio show here.

Kankou Coulibaly, awareness-raising supervisor at GRET for the Meriem project in Mali

“All those who were lucky enough to see the film enjoyed it. What they really liked is that the advice given is easy to understand, the film explains things clearly, and so we realise that it is lack of knowledge that leads to people not following recommendations. With our films, they clearly understand the messages we convey. A lot of people asked us to put them on USB keys to share them with others; this shows that there is a real interest in the film.

The difficulty observed here concerns mobilisation of couples in the field; when we give couples a date for film screenings followed by debates, sometimes they don’t turn up. Mobilisation of some community leaders is also of concern, particularly in healthcare centres and in some neighbourhoods. Some community leaders were not available due to their heavy schedule.”

Source: infomercial on the pregnant and breastfeeding women’s eating practices campaign, Bamako

Amélie Girel, project manager at GRET for the Meriem project in Niger

“We conduct awareness-raising at ten healthcare centres in the municipality of Niamey; this enables us to raise women’s awareness on the daily recommended eating practices they should adopt, and especially to explain that there are things they need to eat every day that provide vitamins and minerals, and other things that are detrimental for their health when consumed in excessive quantities. So, it is necessary to repeat the advantages of good nutrition, its benefits in terms of women’s health, and also for children. So, we start with pregnant and breastfeeding women and continue until their children are 24 months old. This is referred to as the first 1,000 days in a children’s life. Through this awareness-raising, we ascertain their initial knowledge on these issues, and we organise film screenings followed by debates in healthcare centres, making it possible to improve knowledge.”

Source: interview by Studio Kalangou in Niger

Lassine and Fatoumata, young parents in Bamako

Lassine: “I never accompanied my wife to the healthcare centre during her first two pregnancies. That day [at the film-screening followed by a debate], Salif [the husband in the awareness-raising film] put his ear on his wife’s tummy, “eh, baby said this, baby said that”. I don’t know how to put it… it was the first time I had seen this.”

Fatoumata: “I liked the film-screening and debate, because there were a lot of things that we women weren’t aware of. Especially about food, and how pregnancy goes. As for husbands, sometimes if you want a specific food, they get annoyed. Saying you’re too fussy, and so on and so forth… With the film, men understood a lot of things.”

Lassine: “Seeing the Bébé Kodi film made me change; until she gave birth, every time I went home, I brought something for her.”

Fatoumata: “There is not enough information on pregnancy, child nutrition and communication between parents on pregnancy. With Bébé Kodi, women received a lot of knowledge.”

Lassine: “I think it would be good if Bébé Kodi organised meetings every month in neighbourhoods.”

Source: interview by GRET in Mali.

See Fatoumata and Lassine’s full story here.

Kadia Traoré, Managing Director of Bara Musso

“When we go inside the market, we can see that everyone looks happy. It’s the first time, even in the sub-region, that a spice production plant has taken the initiative to produce and market a fortified spice. We are the only company to have done this. This is why we are doubly proud and pleased. Especially as this is a targeted product: Bara Musso is paying homage to women, with this new innovative product that is intended for them.”

Source: testimony recorded by GRET in Mali.

Modibo Coulibaly, head supervisor at Bara Musso

“The official launch took place on 6 September 2021. Since then, our products are on sale at the Kalabankoura market, and now here we are at Sabalibougou market. As you can see, this is a very large market, it’s one of the largest on the right bank. We arrived this morning with a caravan, and a team of 20 people. This team sells the product at markets. There is a tasting team inside the market. Their role is to invite passers-by to taste a dish sprinkled with the Nafama spice. The 2nd tasting team is at the entrance to the market, next to a Bara Musso store. A raffle is also planned. When clients buy a packet of spices, they win a raffle ticket enabling them to win a prize (a bowl, plate, basket or bucket). Our objective is to sell as many products as possible, but also to have fun with the crowd at the market. We have observed that the products are selling very well and we also plan to increase stock. Today’s activity started just under an hour and a half ago and our stock is almost sold out already.”

Source: testimony recorded by GRET in Mali.

Aminata Berthe, a beneficiary of the Nafama marketing training in Bamako

“For the product launch, we received 2 days of marketing training on the new Nafama product. Yesterday and today we studied this new product in depth, with a view to talking about it in the field, where we will be using an app that aims to facilitate the process of selling products without making mistakes. For example, when a product is sold at a wholesaler’s, we open the app and click on the section with their number, name and photos, and we fill in their location.”

Source: testimony recorded by GRET in Mali.