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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:

Local agrobiodiversity in Guatemala. Credit: Bioversity International/R. Robitaille

One thousand and ninety seven reasons to celebrate World Food Day

In her World Food Day blog, Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Bioversity International draws attention to the thousands of overlooked food...

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Hedge your bets in resilient landscape restoration

Bioversity International launched the 'Trees for Seeds: Resilient forest restoration' initiative at the Global Landscapes Forum one month ago in...

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Seasonal availability workshop in Dungariya village, Madhya Pradesh, India. Credit: Bioversity International/G. Meldrum

Adding colour to rural diets year round with the Seasonal Food Availability Booklet

From focus group to plate: a new tool developed by Bioversity International to enhance the use of local agrobiodiversity for health and nutrition

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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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Contact:

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