IITA’s Central Africa Hub (CAH) covers the Congo basin region comprising: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, DR Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipe. The dominant agroecological zones in CAH are the humid forest and semi-arid tropics. The most prominent farming systems are forest-based, root crop systems, cereal–root crop systems, and tree crop systems. The region hosts some of the last remaining primary forests in Africa.
Despite the region’s relatively high agricultural potential, extreme poverty remains a major challenge. This problem is compounded by the relatively little attention received from the international R4D community, including CGIAR. Investment has been low because of conflict, few impact enablers, and infrastructure challenges. National research capacity is low and institutes poorly funded and staffed. Furthermore, most of the region’s countries spend a small proportion of GDP on agriculture.
Over the past 45 years, we have gained experience in genetic improvement, agronomic and soil fertility management, value addition and postharvest management, and improved nutrition of our mandate crops. IITA aims to lift over 3.4 million Central Africans out of poverty and turn 1.0 million hectares of land to sustainable use.
IITA is active in Burundi, the Central African Republic, DRC, Gabon, and Rwanda.