Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

West and Central Africa

Bioversity International's mission is to deliver scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to sustainable food and nutrition security.

The West and Central Africa region covers an area stretching from Senegal in the West, to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the East and down to the South Atlantic Ocean.  It is the primary centre of origin for several food crops including millet, cowpea, fonio, yam, African rice, bambara groundnut and oil palm. It is also the secondary centre of diversity for sorghum and robusta coffee. In addition, several cultivated crops, such as pineapple, groundnut, cotton, cocoa, rubber, cocoyam, maize, cassava, sweet potato, tobacco, banana, plantain, citrus, coconut, sugar cane, mango, taro and Asian rice) have wild relatives and have developed genetic traits that are well adapted to the environmental conditions in West and Central Africa. 

The humid forest zone in this region hosts the second largest forest area in the world and is a reservoir for biodiverse animal and plant species including highly valuable timber trees such as the African mahogany.

Where we are working:
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo DR., Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Senegal

Meet the team

News from the West and Central Africa region:

05 Dec 2016

Restoring lands and livelihoods in Burkina Faso: The business of one association

Mr Alain Traoré, Director of tiipaalga, shares insights from his long-term efforts in fostering farmer-led restoration initiatives in Burkina Faso as part of our CBD COP13 Blog Series.

25 Nov 2016

Small is beautiful: Restoring degraded lands, one parcel at a time

Bioversity International partner, Mr Harouna Kaboré, farmer from Burkina Faso, talks about his experience restoring three hectares of his household’s degraded lands in the third blog in the CBD COP13 Forest and Landscape Restoration Blog Series.

10 Oct 2016

Certified cocoa in West Africa: Taking stock and key issues for moving ahead

Dietmar Stoian, Principal Scientist, Value Chains and Private Sector Engagement co-presented research being carried out in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre and Fairtrade Africa on ways to assess the impact of Fairtrade on cocoa growers and cooperatives in Ghana and Côte ... read more

09 Sep 2016

Outside, whatever the weather: FreeStations in the Volta basin

As part of a CGIAR Water Land and Ecosystems project, researchers and students from King’s College London, Bioversity International, and other partner organizations are working to improve the distribution of weather stations across the Volta river basin. Earlier in 2016, the partners were ... read more

26 Aug 2016

Reconciling multiple forest uses in the Congo Basin

In their 2015 annual report, the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry highlights the achievements of Flagship 2, Management of Forest and Tree Resources, in research conducted on diversified forest management in the Congo Basin.

17 Aug 2016

Crank it up! Researchers discover that banana plants enjoy thermotherapy

Bioversity International and other CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas scientists have discovered several thermotherapy-related methods that facilitate farmers' battle against banana pests, produce disease-free banana planting materials and have positive effects on yields.

 ... read more
16 Aug 2016

Innovation injects income opportunities into the banana value chain

As reported in their latest annual report, the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) has been busy working with local partners along the entire cooking banana value chain in Uganda. The research partners are testing strategies to reduce post-harvest loss and ... read more

09 Aug 2016

Gendered exclusions and cooperation within the shea value chain

In their recently published article, Marlène Elias and Seema Arora-Jonsson describe the shea value chain. The authors highlight that although there is interest in improving prospects for producers, little attention is being focused on how differences among producers can enable some, but not ... read more

02 Aug 2016

Banana scientists cover significant ground in battling banana disease BBTD

As reported in the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas’ 2015 Annual Report, significant ground has been covered in the battle against one of banana’s biggest enemies – the banana bunchy top disease (BBTD).

13 Jun 2016

Addressing the weather data paradox head-on in Guatemala and Mali

Weather data is vital for climate science, but it is often inaccessible. To solve this, weather stations are being installed in Mali and Guatemala.

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