Western Africa region
The Guinea and Sudan savanna zones in the north of West Africa are characterized by sub-humid ecologies that rely annually on a single rainy season and a single growing period which does not generally exceed 225 days. IITA’s target areas generally receive between 300 and 1200 mm of rainfall annually. The more southern humid forest zone receives ample rainfall (>1000 mm) and is characterized by the absence of long dry seasons. Rainfall is often spread over two rainy seasons per year and the length of the growing period generally exceeds 225 days (Fig. 1).
The key disciplinary groupings of the 64 scientists (63 full time equivalents - FTE) working for IITA in West Africa are Biotechnology & Crop Improvement (22 scientists), Social Science and Agribusiness (10), Natural Resource Management (6), and Plant Production & Health (22). Four scientists (e.g., the biometrician) work across these categories or bring unique skills, such as medical entomology.
Our scientists also are involved in the new CRPs such as: HumidTropics; Policies, Institutions and Markets; Maize; Roots, Tubers, & Bananas; Grain Legumes; Agriculture for Nutrition & Health; Water, Land, Ecosystems; Climate Change; and Genebank. Most contribute their disciplinary expertise and experience to two or three CRPs. This multiple membership enhances a broader understanding of the CRPs as well as the sharing or transfer of results from one CRP to others where they are needed.
- A “cottage industry” in Bénin for biocontrol of cowpea pod borer
- Nutritional enhancement and stress tolerance in maize
- New ways to genetically improve cassava