Sorghum improvement in West Africa faces a host of challenges in capacity and resources. Despite some important successes in sorghum breeding in West Africa, the overall impact of sorghum improvement has not yet met stakeholder expectations on varietal adoption, increased farm income, or improved nutritional status. National programs are working to address local producer and user needs, but frequently with limited funds, researchers, staff and infrastructure. The result has been limited success in varietal adoption and a rate of improvement that is not sufficient for the necessary impacts on food and income security in the region.
The Sorghum Adaptation in West Africa with a Genomics-Enabled Breeding Network (SAWAGEN) project creates a defined network of national researchers, international collaborators and farmer organizations aimed at leveraging capacity to develop and deliver demand-driven varieties to farmers. It is built on four separate platforms – local adaptation breeding, genetic mapping research, physiological mapping research, and broad adaptation breeding – and links researchers across those platforms in a hypothesis-driven, goal-oriented research approach. The SAWAGEN spans Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo and Niger and reinforces existing regional breeding network initiatives to further accelerate interdisciplinary solutions to key crop improvement challenges across the Sahel.
This project and research was funded by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, known as the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab (SMIL). This lab is funded by USAID and managed at Kansas State University.
Burkina Faso - Kaya
Niger - Aguié, Bkonni, Kollo, Niamey, Say, Tillabéri
Senegal - Bambey, Tambacounda, Thiès
Geoffrey Morris Bassirou Sine
Eyanawa Atchozou Cyril Diatta
Falalou Hamidou Fanna Maïna
Aissata Mamadou Jaques Faye
Colorado State University
Kansas State University
Burkina Faso - Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricole (INERA)
France - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD)
Niger - International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), LSDS (farmer organization), HALAL (farmer organization), Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (UAM)
Senegal - Centre d’Etudes Régional pour l’Amélioration de l’Adaptation à la Sécheresse (CERAAS), Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA)
Togo - Institut Togolais de Recherche Agronomique (ITRA)
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles du Senegal (ISRA)