Rachid Hanna, PhD
Entomologist & Country Representative
1st, Main Road IRAD, Nkolbisson
PO Box 2008 (Messa)
Tel: (+237) 2 223 7434
Fax: (+237) 2 223 7437
Population, total (millions) 16.3
Population growth (annual %) 1.8
Surface area (sq. km) (thousands) 475.4
Interesting places in Cameroon
Who we are
IITA Cameroon Station was established in 1989. It is one of 10 IITA stations in sub-Saharan Africa. It is located in Nkolbisson, 6 km from Yaoundé on a 10-ha campus adjacent to the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development of Cameroon (IRAD). It is also a host to other institutions, which include CIFOR, BIOVERSITY, AVRDC, and UCLA. The site houses all station facilities including: researchers’ offices, laboratories, greenhouses, administration services, documentation center, conference room, communication hub, stores and workshops, and a 5-ha farm for field research. The station operates in the framework of an agreement signed with the Government of Cameroon, which granted the land required for IITA research with defined areas of research and technical cooperation in the humid forest zone, and also granting IITA a diplomatic status in Cameroon. The goal of IITA in Cameroon is to alleviate poverty and improve rural livelihoods in central Africa in environmentally sustainable ways, following the IITA R4D model.
What we do
1. Cassava Development
- Development and screening of high yielding cassava against pests and diseases, using local varieties and others imported from IITA Headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria.
- Genetic diversity and distribution and abundance of cassava pests and diseases.
- Emphasis on cassava mosaic virus disease, African root and tuber scale and cassava whiteflies.
- Promotion of cassava apex hairiness for improving the habitat of the predatory mite Typhlodromalus aripo, the principal biological control agent of cassava green mite.
- Selected cassava varieties are multiplied and distributed to farmers throughout Cameroon in collaboration with government and private sector partners.
- Socioeconomic studies are conducted to determine diffusion, adoption and impact of improved varieties.
- Development of biological control using predators, parasitoids and entomopathogens against a variety of pests (e.g., whiteflies, African root and tuber scale, cassava green mite).
- Development of legume cover crops (e.g., Pueraria phaseoloides) for improving soil fertility and weed management.
- Value-added transformation of cassava into various products: chips, fufu, flour, etc.
- Development and dissemination of post-harvest equipment — e.g., manual and motorized cassava chippers— in collaboration with government agencies (PSMNR/GIZ, PNDRT and MINADER).
2. Banana and Plantain Development
- Development and screening of high yielding plantains against pests and diseases, using local varieties and others imported from elsewhere; present pest and disease emphasis is on banana aphid vector of banana bunchy top virus (BBTV); banana weevil and nematodes.
- Pest and disease diagnostics, and genetic diversity and monitoring of distribution of pests and diseases.
- Development of biological control (predators, parasitoids, and microbial agents) and other IPM approaches for the banana aphid and banana weevil.
- Promotion of hot water treatment for sucker sanitation.
- Integrated soil fertility management.
- In-vitro and in-situ conservation of local and improved plantain varieties, and in-vitro and macropropagation of selected varieties in collaboration with government (PRFP) and private sector partners.
- Establishment and promotion of client-managed innovation platforms for the promotion of production ad post harvest technologies.
3. Tephritid fruit flies
- Diversity and distribution and abundance of tephritid fruit flies infesting mango, guava, citrus, cucurbits, eggplants, tomato, and various other fruit-bearing plant species.
- Identification of most appropriate food baits and lures for monitoring the diversity and dynamics of tephritids.
- Distribution, infestations and host range of the exotic tephritid Bactrocera invadens, and development of IPM approaches for its management.
- Development of bait sprays for the control of tephritids in mango, guava, cucurbits and tomato.
- Extention and farmer training in fruit fly identification, monitoring and management.
4. Vegetable IPM
- Diversity, dynamics and distribution and abundance of aphids attacking okra and cabbage.
- Aphid IPM based on host-plant resistance, biological control, entomopathogens and soft pesticides.
- Extension and farmer training in aphid management.
5. Pest risk assessment and climate change
- Temperature effects on life history, modelling and validation of distribution and abundance of several key pests and their natural enemies on key crops.
- Monitoring and forecasting climate change effects on key pests of cassava, plantains, and fruit crops.
6. Social studies
- Social conditions, cultural differences and underlying gender imbalance are affecting perception and adoption of new crop varieties, farming techniques and marketing strategies.
- Accompanying studies about local demand, social and cultural preferences and economic options help to improve the dissemination of our products.
- The integration of strategic gender research identifies entry points for gender-responsive interventions where both men and women benefit from new technologies.
7. Cocoa-Eco and Secured Landscapes Projects
- Sustainable cocoa production— farmer training and development and diffusion of information on eco-friendly production and intensification cocoa-farm rehabilitation and diversification;
- Compilation of evidence of how to adopt strategies for high-carbon storing land-uses to reduce global emission and benefit local people—with linkage to REDD+;
- Next generation cocoa farming—determine push and pull factors for young people to consider a future in cocoa farming.
- Cooperative development;
- Market linkages.
1. Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory
- A state of the art equipped laboratory to serve IITA and partners in Central Africa and beyond.
- Second most productive lab in West and Central Africa, exceeded only by the one at IITA headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria.
2. Plant Protection Laboratories
- Laboratory for insect identification and a museum for insect conservation.
- Insect bio-ecology research facilities.
- Fully equipped plant and entomo- pathology laboratory.
- Quarantine facility for the introduction of exotic organisms.
3. Biotechnology Laboratories
- Tissue culture laboratory that is as an entry point for the introduction of new crop germplasm and conservation, propagation and distribution of selected varieties.
- Modern molecular biology laboratory to support diagnostic and diversity studies of pests and diseases.
- Five hectares of on-station land for field experiments.