Acha (Digitaria spp.) a “Rediscovered” Indigenous Crop of West Africa

T. K Philip, I. N Itodo


There are over 300 Digitaria species of acha, which are sometimes grown as fodder. Only
three or four are sometimes grown as cereals (CIRAD, 2004). In West Africa the common
species cultivated are Digitaria exilis or fonio, white fonio, fundi of findi, acha, hungry rice
and Digitaria iburua or black fonio, iburu etc. Acha (Digitaira spp), considered as one of the
lost crops of Africa, remains an important food crop for millions of people in West Africa.
The intimidating challenge today is to produce enough acha to meet the growing demands for
its products. This paper considers acha as a once “lost crop of Africa” whose potentials of
providing enough food for the increasing population of poor people in the Continent cannot
be ignored.

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