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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, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria

Meet the team

News from the West and Central Africa region:

Fonio (above) and Bambara groundnut harvested in Mali. Credit: Bioversity International/G.Meldrum

Shaking up markets and narratives for increased consumption of nutritious fonio and Bambara groundnut

Effective value chains can increase the presence of a crop in markets and enable farmers to earn reliable incomes, which encourages continued...

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Searching for pathways towards equitable and sustainable reservoir management

Bioversity International and partners work closely with local communities in Burkina Faso to tackle the dry season water constraints by supporting...

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Roasted Bambara groundnut: an emerging income source for women in Mali

On the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, that takes place on 15 October, our researchers give us insight into how Bambara groundnut is...

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Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) in agroforestry parkland. Credit: Bioversity International/H.Gaisberger

A threat-mapping approach to guide conservation of food tree species in Burkina Faso

In a recent article on PLOS ONE, Bioversity International researchers and partners have analyzed 16 food tree species in Burkina Faso and 6 key...

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Bioversity International joins the Congo Basin Institute

Bioversity International’s forest genetic resources researchers join forces with the Congo Basin Institute (CBI), a collaboration that aims to create...

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Madagascar crop. Please credit: D.Hunter/Bioversity

Mutually implementing the Nagoya Protocol and the Plant Treaty in Madagascar

A Darwin Initiative funded project coordinated by Bioversity International in Madagascar and Benin has communities devising personalized investment...

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Farmer in Ghana prunes his Carabobo cacao tree, originally from Venezuela. Please credit: Bioversity International/R. Markham

Moving towards a sustainable cocoa sector in Ghana

Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world and in recent years has emerged as the world's principal supplier of Fairtrade-certified...

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Banana farmers in Burundi. Credit: Bioversity International/F.Iradukunda

How does gender influence banana disease management?

New research by Bioversity International is studying how women and men control and manage banana cropping systems in Burundi, and how this can...

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Obstacles to gender-smart fertilizer use hurt livelihoods, scientists say

Compiling gender-inclusive data could help scientists understand how to help improve nitrogen fertilizer application practices among smallholder...

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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...

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Contact:

For details of how to contact our offices in West and Central Africa, click here.