Fonio (Digitaria exilis [Kippist] Stapf) species is from Africa. In Burkina Faso, the genetic diversity of fonio is little known. It is the same for its mode of management and the understanding of its culture. The objective of this study is to contribute to a better knowledge of fonio grown in Burkina Faso. Prospecting collects a permit to identify production areas and collect 60 accessions. The ethnobotanical survey made it possible to collect endogenous knowledge relating to the plant. Fourteen ethnic groups were encountered in 231 people surveyed. Both explained and unexplained vernacular names have been observed. Fonio is a plant of great importance for populations in terms of food and is part of the cultural identity of several ethnic groups. It is also a source of income for the local populations. A gradual abandonment (35.30% of respondents) of its cultivation has been observed because of the painful post-harvest transformation process. The endogenous knowledge collected within the local population will serve as a guide for the valuation of the species. The required accessions will be used for other studies such as agromorphological, biochemical and molecular genetic characterization to better identify its diversity, conserve it and better enhance the species.
Key words: Fonio, genetic diversity, indigenous knowledge, Burkina Faso, postharvest quality, shelf life.
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