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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 work:
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo DR, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria

Meet the team

Contact:

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



Local foods – a strategic asset for healthy diets

Deploying the potential of seasonal fruits and vegetables as strategic assets for healthy diets in Kenya, Guatemala, Mali, and Vietnam.
 

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Nutritious vegetables in Benin

Watch this video to learn about the vegetable value chain in Benin and how Bioversity International has been working to encourage the consumption of these nutritious foods.

 

Mutual implementation of the Plant Treaty and the Nagoya Protocol in Benin and Madagascar

We are supporting the mutual implementation of the Plant Treaty and the Nagoya Protocol in Benin and Madagascar through a combination of research and capacity building activities in ways that respond to local realities, contributing to development benefits.

 

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News from the West and Central Africa region:

Banana plantation worker in Colombia. Credit: CIAT/N. Palmer

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...

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Banana seller at a Ugandan market. Credit: CIP/S. Quinn

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...

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Young woman processing Shea butter. Credit: Bioversity International/B.Vinceti

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...

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Lava Kumar, IITA scientist, points to a banana plant infected with Banana Bunchy Top Disease in a banana field during a Learning Alliance Workshop in Bujumbura, Burundi. Credit: IITA/ L. Kumar

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...

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Bioversity International staff in Costa Rica being trained to install and maintain weather stations. Bioversity International/G. Meldrum

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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Credit: Participants to the official launch of the project Mutually supportive implementation of the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty in Benin, May 2015 Credit: Wilfried Anagonou

Mutually supportive implementation of the Plant Treaty and the Nagoya Protocol in Benin and Madagascar

Bioversity International is working with the Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) Capacity Development Initiative, the secretariats of the CBD and...

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Farmer field day in a participatory evaluation plot for kodo millet in Dindori, Madhya Pradesh. Field visit to Mandla and Dindori in Madhya Pradesh to see work carried out by Action for Social Advancement (ASA) in the context of the IFAD-EU-CCAFS project, which is promoting underutilized species, particularly kodo and kutki (little) millet, for better livelihoods. Credit: Bioversity International/G. Meldrum

Agricultural biodiversity to manage risks and empower the poor

Proceedings are now available from an International Conference held in Rome in 2015 to launch the IFAD and EU supported Initiative ‘Linking...

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Banana plant affected by Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), Uganda.
Please credit: Bioversity International/N.Capozio

Farmer-friendly method controls banana Xanthomonas wilt disease

Bioversity International, IITA, ILAC and RTB are promoting a simple approach to bring this devastating banana disease under control while saving...

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Good chocolate starts with good cocoa beans – a little taste from the Cocoa of Excellence Programme and the Salon du Chocolat in Paris

On the side-lines of the Paris Salon du Chocolat event, Bioversity International co-established International Cocoa Awards went to 17 cocoa producers...

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Women and men in tropical dry forests: A preliminary review

In their new paper 'Women and men in tropical dry forests: a preliminary review', Colfer, Elias and Jamnadass put the spotlight on several phenomena...

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