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Impact story – Les Céréales de Tatam
Brand Name: Les Céréales de Tatam
Halatou Dem runs Les Céréales de Tatam (LCT), a family business created in 1992 by Halatou’s mother under the name DANAYA CEREALES. LCT adds value to cereals traditionally grown in Mali (such as fonio, millet, maize etc.) by transforming them into flour and improving their nutritional value. These naturally gluten-free products offer an international export opportunity that the company has seized. However, LCT showed its agility by diversifying its product range when exports outside the African continent became difficult, if not impossible, due to restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. LCT began producing infant flour (called fortimil), pre-cooked products (e.g. pre-cooked fonio, monicourou) and processed products (Degue Mougou, Moni Courou etc.) for the local and regional market. The company has two processing units, one located in an industrial zone at Dialakorobougou and the other at Baco Djicoroni Golf. The company sources its raw materials from a cooperative of producers with over 1,000 members, organised into producer cooperatives, located in a large geographical area in Mali.
During Innovations Session n°1, Halatou presented LCT’s commitment to promoting female employment, in particular by prioritising women staff being recruited.
Halatou joined the company in 2010 and intended to guarantee the production of quality products. This led to implementing several quality systems, modernising the company and industrialising all the processing stages, mainly through the acquisition of machinery. The company has received technical support from the United Nations World Food Programme and UN Women, as well as technical and financial support from LUX DEVELOPPEMENT as part of its MLI 21 project. LCT has also received equipment from GAIN as part of the ALTAAQ project funded by the AFD and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These partnerships have helped the company to obtain loans from Malian banks to invest in machinery.
Developing strong relationships with international organisations is part of the company’s marketing strategy, for example through active participation in trade shows, trainings and conferences organised by these partners. Halatou represents LCT at trade fairs in Africa and Europe, for example at the 2023 International Agriculture and Animal Resources Trade Fair (SARA) in Côte d’Ivoire and at Macfrut 2022 in Italy.
Halatou is also taking part in capacity-building programmes, including one organised by the US exchange programmes with the American Embassy in Mali and a training course on value chains in agriculture organised by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). Halatou has also been selected to join the specialised training programme on certain issues relating to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), organised by the WTO Study Centre and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in collaboration with the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED).
Halatou’s commitment to developing local cereal chains is reflected in her involvement in various professional federations. Since August 2022, Halatou has been President of the Federation of Female Fonio Processors of Bamako (Fédération des Transformatrices de Fonio de Bamako). She was also a member of the initiative committee for the creation of Mali’s fonio inter-professional organisation. As vice-president of this committee, she helped set up federations of producers and processors in the regions of Ségou, Sikasso, Koulikoro, Kayes and Mopti.
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