countries see finger millet and some sorghums as the key—finally—to solving Africa's malnutrition problem. Food technologists are finding vast new possibilities in processes that can open up vibrant consumer markets for new and tasty products made from Africa's own grains. And engineers are showing how the old grains can be produced and processed locally without the spirit-crushing drudgery that raises the resentment of millions who have to grind grain every day.
That, then, is the underlying message of this book. It should not be seen as an indictment of wheat, maize, or rice. Those are the world's three biggest crops, they have become vital to Africa, and they deserve even more research and support than they are now getting. But this book, we hope, will open everyone's eyes to the long-lost promise inherent in the grains that are the gifts of ancient generations. Dedicated effort will open a second front in the war on hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and environmental degradation. It will save from extinction the foods of the forebears. And it just might bring Africa the food-secure future that everyone hopes for but few can now foresee.
Noel D. Vietmeyer