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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:

African leafy vegetables: a nutritious income source in Benin 

A new video about traditional leafy vegetables in Benin tells us about their important nutritional benefits and how they are grown, bought and sold in...

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Children of forest community in Eastern Cameroon with one child holding fruits of Irvingia gabonensis. Credit: Bioversity International/R.Fungo

Tapping into Congo Basin’s forest foods for increased nutrition security

Forest products make a major contribution to household food and nutrition security in the Congo Basin, says new open-access paper published as part of...

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Intercropping of banana and beanson farmers' field to mitigate banana xanthomonas wilt, Burundi. Credit:Bioversity International/P.Lepoint

CIALCA: Planting for future growth in the humid tropics

The Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa merged its activities with the CGIAR Research Program on Integrated...

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French Horn plantain> Credit: Richard Markam

The Democratic Republic of Congo home to one of the highest diversity of plantains in Africa

A series of collecting missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo reveals the extent of the country’s plantain diversity. Plantains are cooking...

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Diversity Field Forum in Mali. Credit: Bioversity International/R.Vodouhe

Farmer-selected local varieties certified in Mali

Celebrate with us the recent seed certification of eight local crop varieties produced by farmers in Mali, made possible by the work of Bioversity...

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Farmer with Cassia tora. Credit: Bioversity International/B.Danjimo

Women farming wild species in West Africa

Women play an important role in domesticating nutritious wild species in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger both for sale and home consumption. 

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Ghanaian Ministers claim traditional crops as assets in fighting Africa’s food challenges

The NUS 2013 conference participants shared knowledge and found solutions on how to help move African policies to mainstream traditional crops into...

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Wild foods: a food security strategy that's hard to swallow?

Bioversity International's Barbara Vinceti joins Bronwen Powell and Eva Muller in a discussion on the importance of wild foods for the food and...

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Contact:

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