Safeguarding Plant Genetic Resources of Benin for a sustainable

future use (Safe-PGR), BOLD WP4, CROP TRUST

Project Summary

A proper maintenance of today’s plant genetic resources is critical for a quality feeding of tomorrow’s generations and a climate-smart agriculture. Unfortunately, the lack of appropriate ex-situ conservation facilities at national levels hinders the capacities of countries to achieve this ideal in the tropics, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In this project, the Genetics of Genetics, Biotechnology and Seed Science Unit (GBioS) of the Laboratory of Plant Production, Physiology and Plant Breeding (PAGEV) of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi (Republic of Benin) aims to guarantee the availability of 1,000 accessions of 18 species at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Project objectives

The overall objective of the SAFE-PGR project was to ensure the sustainable ex-situ conservation of Benin plant genetic resources for use by future generation in depositing them in the Svalbard genebank.

Specially, this project intended to:

  1. regenerate, where needed, 1,000 accessions of 18 selected crop species collected in Benin;
  2. primary-duplicate these 1,000 accession at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA); and
  3. safety-duplicate these 1000 accessions at Svalbard in Norway.

Project activities

The SAFE PGR project activities are threefold:

  1. regenerate accessions for the selected crop species’
  2. duplicate these accessions in the above mentioned genebanks; and
  3. and build the capacity of students and field technicians on regeneration protocols.

Project duration and budget

SAFE-PGR is a two-years project funded by the Global Crop Diversity Trust (CROP TRUST) under the BOLD (Biodiversity for opportunity, Livelihoods and Development). The total budget of the project id USD 84,795.23.

Project intervention areas

The project activities are being conducted in Abomey-Calavi, Allada, Zè, Zogbodomey, Djidja and Natitingou across the country’s three phytogeographic regions.

Project expected results

At the end of the SAFE PGR project, at least 1,000 accessions of at least 18 different crop species of Benin are deposited at Svalbard in Norway.

Project Achievements to date

After one year-regeneration, a total of 1,167 accession of 20 different species including white fonio (Digitaria exilis), Black fonio (Digitaria iburua), Rosell (Hibiscus sabdariffa), Amarant (Amaranthus cruentus), among others were regenerated and are currently in the primary and safety-duplication processes. The project has trained one MSc and is improving local population livelihoods in its intervention zones (e.g., Sèdjè-Dénou) through short-term job creation for the youth.

Project partners

The main SAFE PGR project partners are the World Vegetable Center and the ministry of Environment.

Project contact person

Prof Enoch G. Achigan-Dako, Genetics, Biotechnology and Seed Science Unit (GBioS), University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin,

Dr Charlotte Adjé, Genetics, Biotechnology and Seed Science Unit (GBioS), University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin

Dr Dèdéou Tchokponhoué, Genetics, Biotechnology and Seed Science Unit (GBioS), University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin

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