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
IITA Cameroon Station was established in 1990. 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 icipe. 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 and imported varieties.
- Emphasis on cassava mosaic virus disease, African root and tuber scale and cassava whiteflies; and 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; and socioeconomic studies conducted to determine diffusion, adoption and impact of improved cassava varieties.
- Genetic diversity and monitoring of distribution and abundance of cassava pests and diseases.
- 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 postharvest equipment, e.g., manual and motorized cassava chippers— in collaboration with government agencies (PNDRT and MINADER).
2. Banana and Plantain Development
- Development and screening of high-yielding plantains against pests and diseases, using local and imported varieties.
- Emphasis on banana aphid and banana bunchy top disease; banana weevil and nematodes screening will be initiated in 2012.
- Pest and disease diagnostics, and genetic diversity and monitoring of distribution of pests and diseases (banana aphid, banana bunchy top virus, and banana weevil).
- Development of biological control and other IPM approaches for the banana aphid and banana weevil.
- Promotion of hot water treatment for sucker sanitation.
- In-vitro and in-situ conservation of local and improved plantain varieties, and in-vitro and macropropagation of selected varieties in collaboration with government and private sector partners.
- Promotion of postharvest technologies in plantain.
3. Tephritid fruit flies
- Diversity and distribution and abundance of tephritid fruit flies infesting tree and vegetable fruits (e.g., 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, infestation, and host range of the exotic tephritid Bactrocera invadens, and development of IPM approaches for its management.
- Introduction of the parasitoid Fopius arisanus for the biological control of B. invadens.
- Development of bait sprays for the control of tephritids
- Extension 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.
- Development of aphid-resistant cabbage and okra.
- Aphid IPM based on biological control, entomopathogens, and soft pesticides.
- Extension and farmer training in aphid management.
5. Climate change studies
- Temperature effects on life history and modeling 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 and plantain.
6. Alternative to Slash and Burn (ASB)
- Compilation of evidence that shows how developing countries can adopt strategies for high-carbon storing land-uses to reduce global emission and benefit local people.
- Studies of the cost opportunity of various farms, where pesticide uses have been evaluated and the tradeoff between intensified farms and carbon stock is being studied. The intensification of farms (uses of pesticides) has been one preoccupation as far as the cost opportunity is concerned.
7. Sustainable Tree Crops Program (STCP)
- Promotion of policy, marketing, processing, and production of cocoa and oil palm.
- Promotion of production and marketing of cocoa and oil palm products and associated products, such as plantain and nontimber forest products.
- Development of capacity of farmers organizations as agribusiness and agricultural enterprises.
- Training through Farmers Field Schools (FFS) and Farmers Learning Groups (FLG).
- Rehabilitation and regeneration of aging coco and oil palm plantations.
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
- Modern laboratory for insect identification, mounting, rearing, and biological control test.
- Insect biology study facilities.
- Screenhouses to simulate semi-field conditions.
- Museum for specimen conservation.
- Fully equipped plant pathology laboratory.
3. Biotechnology Laboratories
- Tissue culture laboratory that serves as an entry point for the introduction of new crop germplasm and conservation, multiplication, 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.